Today is my stop on the blogtour for Charity by Madeline Dewhurst, thank you to Emma at Damp pebbles for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.
Synopsis: Edith, an elderly widow with a large house in an Islington garden square, needs a carer. Lauren, a nail technician born in the East End, needs somewhere to live. A rent-free room in lieu of pay seems the obvious solution, even though the pair have nothing in common.
Or do they? Why is Lauren so fascinated by Edith’s childhood in colonial Kenya? Is Paul, the handsome lodger in the basement, the honest broker he appears? And how does Charity, a Kenyan girl brutally tortured during the Mau Mau rebellion, fit into the equation?
Capturing the spirited interplay between two women divided by class, generation and a deeper gulf from the past, and offering vivid flashbacks to 1950s East Africa, Madeline Dewhurst’s captivating debut spins a web of secrets and deceit where it’s not always obvious who is the spider and who is the fly
My rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧
My Thoughts: on the surface this looks like a young last becoming in home help for a frail elderly lady who is struggling but wants to retain her independence, but the more you read and the deeper you dig you soon discover that there is so much more to the story.
Edith is originally from Kenya and married a British soldier in order to escape that life, the parts of the story that were based in 1950’s Kenya were my favourite, although some aspects of them were heartbreaking, they were definitely eye opening.
We know from the beginning that there is a link between Edith and Lauren, but what that is we don’t know, we also know that Lauren is aware of the link but poor Edith has no idea, Throw in the neighbour that lives in Edith’s basement and that you have is some kind of complicated triangle 😂
This story was an absolute delight to read, it wasn’t always happy and positive but it was one that was really difficult to put down.
Trigger warnings for sexual assault and rape.