Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Borrowed Wings

Author: Ruthie Morgan
Genre: Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Type: e-book
Series: #2 in the Skylark series
Source: Author
PublisherLucky Arbuckle Publishing
First Published: August 4, 2016
First Line: "I was drawn to him."

Book Description from GoodReadsHow do you start again when your world has been torn in two? How do you move on when disaster follows like a shadow? Billie Skylark is trying, and Jack Kelly would like to know. 

Following the conclusion of Skylark; Billie must find her way forward and Jack must find his way back. 

In a world changed by fate and loss, the community of St. Cloud strives to find solace in love, friendship and new life. As Billie struggles out from the confines of Evan’s shadow, Jack fights to avoid the truth. But the future they try to build is threatened by the arrival of Jack’s brother Raife, whose presence forces open the Pandora’s box of Jack’s past. While Billie faces life alone, Jack must deal with the repercussions of death.

The small community are buffeted by St. Cloud storms, and life mirrors the islands dramatic weather. Dan finds himself helpless; forced to hurt those he loves most, Sadie has a secret that threatens her future with Jed, and Virginia faces a truth that turns her world upside down.

Borrowed Wings is the highly anticipated conclusion to Ruthie Morgan’s award winning debut novel, Skylark.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review: I do so love a book with a whole bunch of drama and characters that leap off the page! With her new book Borrowed Wings, author Ruthie Morgan continues the engaging story she began in her first book, Skylark. When I read Skylark earlier last year, Morgan blew me away with her characters, story, humour and emotion.  So, it's no surprise that I jumped at the chance to read the sequel. 

This second book is very much an ensemble piece.  While the first book focused on the tumultuous relationship of Billie and Evan, this time around Morgan broadens her scope and allows the secondary characters from Skylark to take up the reigns. The story is told in a linear style but the multiple points of view give the reader better insight into the lives and struggles of various residents of St Cloud.  

Billie, the main character in Skylark, continues to tell her story in Borrowed Wings but I liked that she isn't always front and centre.  Her story is told in the first person so readers get to see how she's faring after returning to St Cloud and facing the memories that await her.  I liked witnessing her transformation from the darkness of loss and struggling to get her life back on track to figuring out who she is without her recently deceased husband. 

St Cloud is a small, tropical island community where everyone knows everyone ... or do they?  I enjoyed getting to know these secondary characters better and witnessing their joy and camaraderie and sharing in their heartbreak and tears. This book plays out like a big, emotional family drama complete with loss, redemption, love and a renewed sense of hope for the future.  People who enjoy ensemble casts, be it in TV (like Parenthood or This Is Us) or in books (like Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series) will enjoy this series where secondary characters are given time to shine and bring their unique issues to the forefront.  

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book there were a couple of things that niggled at me. First, while I had a recollection about the bond that Billie shared with Jack in the first book, I felt that their connection in this book was assumed rather than shown. I wanted to see and remember why they had such a close relationship.  Also, I found it difficult at times to keep track of some of the characters.  There's a lot going on with multiple characters/relationships within several story lines. I ended up making a little cheat sheet to help me remember who was dating/married to whom, careers etc since it had been over a year since I had read the first book.  I didn't need the sheet for long but in the beginning, it was very helpful. 

Morgan is a beautifully descriptive writer who brings her readers into the heart of this small community, its residents and their own personal self journeys. She doesn't shy away from big topics or Kleenex worthy scenes such as: loss, life after loss, dealing with aging parents and sibling discord. Morgan balances these heavier topics by weaving her wicked sense of humour into her characters and their camaraderie which gives readers a clear sense of community on this small island. 

While Skylark was about the complexities of relationships with a nod to the darker aspects of love Borrowed Wings brings the story full circle and has a more redemptive, hopeful feel to it. This book is about the strength of friends and family - in all its varied forms - and finding one's way to fulfillment and happiness.

Note: I highly recommend reading Skylark first to understand the depth of Billie's feelings and loss as well as the relationships between the residents of St Cloud.

Disclaimer:  My sincere thanks to author Ruthie Morgan for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.

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