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Our January 2021 Book Club Recommendation
A complete joy of a debut, bright, observational and incredibly intimate, this book has lodged itself in my heart. Take twelve independent yet linked stories over twelve months about people who are connected to a London park community. The focus changes with each month, allowing individual stories to shine, yet they add up to a vibrantly wonderful whole. Gemma Reeves is beautifully eloquent, she has the ability with a few words, to give you admittance to someone’s soul. While she creates penetrating access to each person, there isn’t always a conclusion, instead life carries on, suggesting potential pathways. I fell in love with this powerfully blended infusion of life. The variety of characters, in age, personality, and beliefs crackle with energy. A new character might wander in for a few moments and then star in the next tale. Some connections may be obvious and linger, others lightly touch before moving on. The stories themselves tug at heartstrings and encourage thoughts to roam, the ending is simply divine and brought tears to my eyes. Thought-provoking and emotionally intelligent, Victoria Park slips with glorious ease onto our LoveReading Star Books list and is a Liz Pick of the Month, it really is very special indeed.
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.
With sharply observed insight into contemporary urban life, and characters we take to our hearts, Gemma Reeves has written a moving, uplifting debut which reflects those universal experiences that connect us all.
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
Really enjoyable story introducing and linking the residents of a London neighbourhood, around the central theme of their local park. Full review
The realisation of alienation and connection between residents in a disparate and culturally diverse area, was spot on. Full review
Hugely empathetic, utterly absorbing and beautifully told, Victoria Park really captures something so bittersweet and so true about the struggles and joys that ebb and flow through all of the relationships that hold us together. -- Naomi Ishiguro, author of ESCAPE ROUTES
I absolutely loved Victoria Park. It's a stunning portrayal of a London community, where moments of heartbreak, sympathy and joy cast deep reverberations. A triumph of compassion and redemption, the lives of the characters are so finely observed, they might be our own. It reminded me of Elizabeth Strout and Jennifer Egan, and I know I'll be thinking about Wolfie and Mona for months to come. -- Elizabeth Macneal (author of THE DOLL FACTORY)
A writer who exudes a generous playful intelligence, such bright, wise wit. Everything on the page is alive, each paragraph a fresh adventure - her writing gives a pure and rare pleasure. -- Samantha Harvey, bestselling author of THE WESTERN WIND
Publication date: 07/01/2021
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
|Publication date:||7th January 2021|
|Publisher:||Allen & Unwin|
|Genres:||Book Club Recommendations, Debuts of the Month, Debuts, Family Drama, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Relationship Stories, Star Books,|
|Collections:||2021 Preview - Exciting New Books on the Horizon,|
|Categories:||Fiction & related items, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Gemma Reeves is a writer and teacher who lives and works in London.More About Gemma Reeves