Book Review: The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn
The publication date for Judith Kinghorn’s fourth novel, The Echo of Twilight, is fast approaching early next month but, given the season, now seems the perfect time to offer someone a copy of her previous novel, The Snow Globe. Give The Snow Globe a gentle shake and you’ll find a father falling off his pedestal, a mother forced to reassess her life, both past and future, and a daughter on the cusp of her adult life with romance and independence beckoning, becoming more aware of the real world outside her sheltered childhood home and the houseful of secrets that same haven contains.
Inside the glass orb was a miniature garden and a house. If she stared long enough, she could almost see the people inside. But whether they were trapped there, or kept safe, in that miniscule snowbound world, she couldn’t have said…
Christmas 1926 holds bright promise for nineteen-year-old Daisy Forbes, with celebrations under way at Eden Hall, her family’s country estate in Surrey, England. But when Daisy, the youngest of three daughters, discovers that her adored father, Howard, has been leading a double life, her illusions of perfection are shattered. Worse, his current mistress, introduced as a family friend, is joining them for the holidays. As Daisy wrestles with the truth, she blossoms in her own right, receiving a marriage proposal from one man, a declaration of love from another, and her first kiss from a third. Meanwhile, her mother, Mabel, manages these social complications with outward calm, while privately reviewing her life and contemplating significant changes. And among those below stairs, Nancy, the housekeeper, and Mrs. Jessops, the cook, find that their long-held secrets are slowly beginning to surface…
As the seasons unfold in the new year, and Daisy moves to London, desires, fortunes, and loyalties will shift during this tumultuous time after the Great War. The Forbes family and those who serve them will follow their hearts down unexpected paths that always return to where they began…Eden Hall.
Set in an English country house in the 1920s, The Snow Globe is, as always with Judith Kinghorn’s novels, a pleasure to read: her beautiful writing coaxes you through a story filled with period detail, lush description and a whole cast of fully-formed characters. Just as you do with Robert Altman’s inclusive camerawork in Gosford Park, you’ll soon feel caught up in daily life at Eden Hall, thanks to Judith’s intimate writing style, drawing you into the book’s world and the heads of her characters. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether you’re more at home above or below stairs.
If you’re interested in the interwar period in England, of families and their staff in large country houses, and the changes to these that are coming about after the First World War, this is a lovely take on the subject. The Snow Globe focuses on one family, their household staff, and friends and neighbours, who reflect what was happening in society as a whole and puts this period in our history on a more personal level, making it relatable. There are no great dramas or crises here, it’s a gentle read, although there is certainly disillusionment, the odd setback and disappointment before the story resolves itself. Much in the same way that a snow globe suffers an upset but gradually comes to rest again with the flakes arranged differently, and having weathered the storm until the next time. The Snow Globe is a wonderful book to settle down with over the festive period. Why not let Judith Kinghorn whirl you away to Christmas 1926?
The Snow Globe is Judith Kinghorn’s third novel and is published by Penguin/NAL in the US. You can buy it from Amazon UK, Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million and Indiebound. You can find out more about Judith and her books on her Author Website, her Facebook page or you can Follow Judith on Twitter. Her next book, The Echo of Twilight, is out on 3 January 2017.
Judith kindly sent me a copy of The Snow Globe for review but I’ve since bought a copy as well as one for the giveaway below.
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