Thursday, June 4, 2015

REVIEW: Looking for Charlotte (+$10 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Looking for Charlotte
Author: Jennifer Young
Series: N/A
Pages: N/A
Date Published: 2015
Format: Kindle
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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Synopsis:
Divorced and lonely, Flora Wilson is distraught when she hears news of the death of little Charlotte Anderson. Charlotte’s father killed her and then himself, and although he left a letter with clues to the whereabouts of her grave, his two-year-old daughter still hasn’t been found.

Flora embarks on a quest to find Charlotte’s body to give the child’s mother closure, believing that by doing so she can somehow atone for her own failings as a mother. As she hunts in winter through the remote moors of the Scottish Highlands, her obsession comes to threaten everything that’s important to her — her job, her friendship with her colleague Philip Metcalfe and her relationships with her three grown up children.
~My Thoughts~
Looking for Charlotte is a story of friendship, loss, mystery and a bit of romance. Flora is getting restless, experiencing some sort of horrendous combination of midlife crisis and empty-nest syndrome. After her husband disappeared (or ran off) a few years ago, she's been somewhat adrift and though she wants to pursue romance, she's found it somewhat difficult to trust again. When she becomes obsessed with a local murder, she strives to banish her own demons while searching for the body of the young victim so that both she and the victim's mother can get some sort of closure on their lives and start to move on. 

Flora was an odd duck for a heroine...and I liked that. She isn't all flowers and chocolates, she's damaged, and frazzled, and imperfect, but still strong. Her obsession with finding Charlotte was an intriguing driving force behind the novel, and getting to see it interspersed with how the child's own mother, Suzanne, was reacting was fascinating. I enjoyed getting a real look at the emotional pitfalls all around and seeing how each character chose to respond in the face of loss and confusion. 

Jennifer Young has a pleasantly read-able writing style that flows easily across the ...tongue? ears? mind? Strange to say when you can't hear it out loud, but the voice in my head was lyrical and polished without getting too caught up in semantics. The plot pressed ever forward while also dawdling over character issues that helped with development even as the story took a breather. Very great style trick Jennifer! 

For all my American followers, this one's written in UK English, and has the punctuation and terms to match. It's an interesting culture shock at times, and the first few times the quotations only had one ' instead of two "...I was flustered to say the least. However, after those first few hang-ups I was able to ignore it and just become involved in the story and ignore the punctuation quirks. 

Overall, Looking for Charlotte was a great story. It's full of deeply moving characters, a great story, and a bit of romance and adventure! 
~Try an Excerpt!~
She thought she knew the place where Alastair Anderson had left his car, and found it easily enough. Under her fingers the map was a flat web of never-parallel lines, of ugly pock-marking that told of steep, loose rocks and inhospitable terrain, just the type of place they used to walk. Somewhere up here, Charlotte Anderson was buried. Carried there, already dead? Or walked there and then killed? Surely neither was realistic; surely they would have found her, with their dogs and their mountain rescue helicopters scouring the ground for new scars, and all the rest of the equipment they had at their disposal.

Looking at the map had been a mistake. It was obvious now. Besides, she couldn’t see it any more; all she could see was the image of Suzanne Beauchamp, that beautiful face with the cold fa├žade, like a wax death mask from Madame Tussaud’s. More poignant, of course, since it must hide a struggle, a struggle to conceal or to suppress a deadly mixture of grief and guilt.


‘Go away!’ she said softly to this mirage of a grieving woman, a little afraid of its power. ‘Go away!’ And then, in the only defence left to her, she began to fold the map away.
~Meet Jennifer!~ 
I live in Edinburgh and I write romance and contemporary women’s fiction. I’ve been writing all my life and my first book was published in February 2014, though I’ve had short stories published before then. The thing that runs through all my writing is an interest in the world around me. I love travel and geography and the locations of my stories is always important to me. And of course I love reading — anything and everything.

Jennifer will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. Additionally, Goddess Fish Productions will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

26 comments:

  1. I liked your thoughts and the excerpt. I know that when I read this book I will need some tissues on hand.

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    1. Thanks Felicia. I confess - I cried when I wrote the ending!

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  2. Congratulations on your book's release, it sounds enjoyable to me! And thanks for the giveaway!

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  3. I like what I hear about the writing style. Super important.

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  4. For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

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    1. If I'm honest I prefer real books. But the beauty of ebooks is you can have so many of them with you (and if the light isn't good you can make the print bigger!) so I think they both have their place. I don't think real books will be going away - at least, I hope not!

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  5. Congratulations Jennifer on your new release. It looks like my kind of story and will get read very soon. Best of luck. x

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  6. This sounds like such a great story. I loved the excerpt.

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    1. Thanks - I have to say I really enjoyed writing it.

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  7. I like the synopsis. Sounds like a good read.

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  8. Hi Jennifer! Where is your favorite place to write?

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    1. Ooh...I don't know. I wrote anywhere, but I think my favourite place is at home, at my desk..three steps away from my bed!

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  9. Hey Jennifer, Thanks for stopping by the blog! What adventures are you having today! Aside from the awesome tour that is :)

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    1. Hi Andra - busy day today but the best thing was I walked into town. That sounds dull - but I live in Edinburgh which is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Sometimes I take it for granted.

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  10. The excerpt was great! This sounds like a fascinating book! Thank you for the terrific post and contest!

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    1. Thnaks Betty - really good of you to comment. :)

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  11. it sounds interesting

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  12. I enjoy reading Women's fiction stories. So many great stories !

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  13. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

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