Saturday, 9 January 2021

#BlogTour Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves

Today it's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves.

About the Author

Gemma Reeves is a writer and teacher who lives and works in London.

Follow @g_c_reeves on Twitter, on Amazon, on GoodreadsBuy Victoria Park

About the book

Mona and Wolfie have lived on Victoria Park for over fifty years. Now, on the eve of their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary, they must decide how to navigate Mona's declining health. Bookended by the touching exploration of their love, Victoria Park follows the disparate lives of twelve people over the course of a single year. 

Told from their multiple perspectives in episodes which capture feelings of alienation and connection, the lingering memory of an acid attack in the park sends ripples of unease through the community. By the end of the novel, their carefully interwoven tales create a rich tapestry of resilience, love and loss.

Review

The read begins with Mona and Wolfie, both bound by a tragic past and a lifetime of love. Now everything is slowly slipping away from Mona, but her husband is unwilling to let her forget by herself. From those two the reader is taken in a hop skip jump narrative from character to character and month to month - all of them share the fact that they live in the same area.

In the midst of it all a crime, the tragic repercussions of it and the inability to find the perpetrator, wanders through the narrative. As a reader you almost forget it is trailing along with the rest of the characters and story. In a way I thought this was indicative of the way we react in reality. We are shocked, appalled and for a moment worry about becoming a victim, and then our lives and thoughts dismiss the crime and victim. Care and interest are but a fleeting moment in time.

This is a bit like a hyperlink film with interwoven storylines between multiple characters, who are connected to each other in this case via their surroundings. Their lives intersect at moments which seem to be trivial day-to-day events and conversations. Moments that can mean the world to one person and nothing to another. This is very much at of the essence of the story.

It's a Kodak moment of life in Victoria Park, which gives the reader a glimpse behind the twitching curtains of neighbours, family and friends. They are us and we are them - this in itself is at the core of the story. Being able to recognise and relate to emotions, humanity and each other.

Reeves draws the links between the characters like invisible threads - a bumper car ride of connections, which parallels the way we live our own lives. It's a riveting read, and yet I am convinced Reeves is capable of far more.

Buy Victoria Park at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Allen and Unwin Hardback & eBook | 7 January 2021 | £14.99. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones. 

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