The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley
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To satisfy her wandering feet, eighteen-year-old Gillian McAllister is sent from Ireland to Canada in the summer of 1932. She arrives with her Irish ways intact, determined not to let the wiles of crop duster Christian Hunter woo her into submission. Yet as the summer unfolds and the sweet taste of love grows, Gillian’s appeal lures more than she anticipates, shattering the life they’ve built. Fourteen years, a Great Depression, and a World War later, Christian sets out to discover why Gillian was ripped from his life. What he discovers on the Isle of Man will change them both forever. Not even a thatched cottage by the sea, a spritely Gillian, or memories sprinkled on a page can mask the secret that has been buried for too long. But it isn’t until a set of poems is given to Gillian’s granddaughter that the real mystery—Gillian’s true secret—is freed. Benjamin Franklin Silver Medal Award.
Beautifully written, witty
Gillian Pugsley is one of my favorite book characters of all time. Readers will find themselves borrowing more than one of the witty Gillianisms that Susan Ornbratt dreams up in this beautifully written, evocative love story.
Plot: I read some other reviews and the blurb for The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley, and decided this was a “must read.” When the author contacted me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing her book, I didn’t hesitate. I loved the story. It is definitely my kind of book, containing a mix of genres – historical fiction and romance. What could be better? The book did not disappoint. There is some mystery to the story, but it is eventually brought to light. The story was, at times, exciting with lots of surprises, and at other times, melancholy, but not overly so. The way the author kept going back and forth from present time (2003) to the early days of the story (1931-32 and 1946) kept my interest in overdrive. The transitions were smooth and easy to follow.
Characters: What made this book so enjoyable for me is that it is character driven. Gillian McAllister Pugsley, is seen as strong and independent with a lot of love to give, but will she find Mr. Right, and if she does, will she let him back into her life? Christian Hunter is everything a young girl could hope to find – handsome, strong, interesting, romantic, daring. As the story progressed, the characters grew with it, and this increased their believability.
Writing: I loved the way the book was set up. A poem written by the author’s grandmother preceded each chapter. The story was easy to follow even though it kept changing back and forth between times, and sometimes from other characters’ point of view.