Today I am passing back to Mandie who has a blog tour review of Mary Kate, the latest novel by Nadine Dorries. Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting us to join in and to Head Of Zeus Books for the advance copy for review. Here is what the book is all about:
About the Book
Mary Kate Malone is seventeen and bitterly unhappy that her father has married again after the death of her mother. On her last day at school, she decides to leave home in Tarabeg on the west coast of Ireland and head for Liverpool to find her mother’s sister.
But absolutely nothing goes to plan. Within hours of disembarking, she finds herself penniless and alone, with no place to stay and no idea how she will survive.
Meanwhile, back in Ireland, where old sins cast long shadows, a long-buried secret is about to come to light and a day of reckoning, in the shape of a stranger from America, will set an unstoppable chain of events in motion.
Mary Kate is the second book in the Tarabeg series that this time focuses more on the daughter of Michael Malone as she leaves the security of her convent run boarding school and returns to her family at Tarabeg in County Mayo. Despite this being part of a series I can honestly say it works really well in its own right and I don’t think that anyone would struggle to follow the story if they had not read the first book.
Mary Kate is quite strong willed and determined not to be stuck in a rut back home, following in the footsteps of all the female family members before her. Not wanting to stay at home and live with her father and step mother, she wants to see something of the world and find out what life has to offer her. She believes that this means going to Liverpool to her Aunt Bea. She is the apple of her Great Grandfathers eye and both he and the local teacher help her in her quest to get there. It is her determination of spirit that actually helps her deal with everything that happens from that point onwards as she starts to realise that maybe a new life is not as easy as she had built up in her head.
Although the book title would lead you to believe that the story was solely about Mary Kate, this is very much not the case. At the start of the story you are introduced to Joe Malone from Boston and his links to the Malone clan in County Mayo. I will admit I did wonder how his story would link into that of Mary Kate’s as it was a thread that seemed to end abruptly. His reappearance towards the end of the book however ties it all in quite nicely but did have me wanting to find out more to the story of the Boston arm of the family.
I loved the fact that the story is told from the viewpoints of different family members as it really gives you a sense of how close they are and how the actions of others affect the whole clan, right down to the youngest member. With the story going between Liverpool and Ireland you really get to see how different lives were based on where they live, from attitudes to the opportunities they have available to them. Never having read any books by this author in the past but having seen good reviews, I was keen to pick this book up and get stuck in and I can honestly say I was not disappointed. Mary Kate is a gentle and charming story that slowly draws you in and keeps you engaged right to the end.
If you would like a copy of the book for yourself it is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Nadine Dorries grew up in a working-class family in Liverpool. She spent part of her childhood living on a farm with her grandmother, and attended school in a small remote village in the west of Ireland. She trained as a nurse, then followed with a successful career in which she established and then sold her own business. She has been the MP for Mid-Bedfordshire since 2005 and has three daughters.
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