Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Ninepins by Rosy Thornton

No peace on the fens
Review by The Mole

Ninepins is a tollhouse on the Cambridgeshire fens and is the home of mother and daughter, Laura and Beth. Beth is 12 and finding new friends in her first year at secondary school, friends that are not as well behaved as they seem. Laura lets 'The Pumphouse', which is a separate building and was once used to pump water from the fens, out to students for a little extra cash, but this year the student pulled out leaving Laura to rent it to Willow - a 17 year old who has been in a care home after being found guilty of arson. With Beth's friends leading her astray, Beth's asthma and Willow then Laura's life is about to be turned totally upside down.

This book is one of those 'hard to classify' types. Never quite a thriller, not quite a mystery, nor a romance. It's more a story of a family that is going through a patch of life that, once traversed, will leave everyone wiser, happier and more settled. That is if they all make it through.

The book deals with some powerful issues and the author does it very well. Beth has an asthma bout - I am avoiding the word 'attack' deliberately - which builds up over several days because of the weather and finally has Laura picking her up from school and rushing her to the doctor to be put on a nebuliser. This was followed by nights sitting up and comforting and watching and left me just a little wondering why nebulisers aren't readily available in the manner of defibrillators? Or even just a little angry maybe, but the writing was powerful enough that I became involved in this.

I did enjoy this book but do find it hard to classify it's 'genre' and think I must opt for the catch-all 'Adult Fiction'. The story moves quickly from incident to incident with no clearly discernible goal until the very end when we are suddenly thrown from one side to the other before finally understanding, and appreciating where we were being taken and it was a journey worth travelling.

Once again - I was entranced by the characters in the book and did enjoy it a lot.

Publisher - Sandstone Press
Genre - Contemporary Adult Fiction


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