LITERARY FICTION

Bluethroat Morning – Jacqui Lofthouse

An intricately written novel.

This book was provided to me from NetGalley, Blackbird Publishing and Jacqui Lofthouse in exchange for my honest opinion. To them, I send my deepest gratitude. 

Bluethroat Morning by Jacqui Lofthouse was beautifully written with intricate plot and sub-plots. It’s a rather long book, but I didn’t mind this and never lost interest once. 

Harry Bliss is a retiring school teacher who was married to a former super-model, Alison Oakley Bliss who turned best-selling author. Her book was very well received and she had many fans. Inexplicably, six years prior to the start of this novel, Alison had taken a writing holiday in a small town called Glaven. The Glaven River is in the eastern English county of Norfolk, is 10½ miles long and flows through picturesque North Norfolk countryside to the North Sea. Today, it is a popular tourist destination, but Alison rents a run-down cottage there to finish her second book without distractions. 

Harry is absolutely devastated by his wife’s unexpected suicide. He is determined to find out what transpired the last two weeks of Alison’s life. Harry is also going through a mid-life crisis. He has been somewhat of a recluse in the years since Alison’s death and thinks its time to come out of the shell. 

In comes Helen. Oh, lovely, 19-year-old Helen. The daughter of Harry’s closest friend at school where he teaches. Helen bears a strong resemblance to Arabella, who was his great-grandfather’s wife. Arabella also committed suicide by walking naked into the water and drowning for unknown reasons just as Alison did. Harry and Helen start a torrid, although inappropriate, affair and she travels with him to Glaven to try to find answers. Helen is also a huge fan of Alison, both through her modeling career and her author status. 

What transpires after that, I will withhold. This book is expertly written and intricate in detail, both of the characters and the surrounding area. My hat is off to Jacqui Lofthouse. She weaves a web of secrets and revelations that are shown to the reader slowly and deliciously. 

It is an excellent book. I enjoyed it very much. 

About the Author

Jacqui began her career as an actor touring India as Sheila in J.B. Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’. She went on to study Drama and English at the University of Bristol and subsequently worked in radio production and media training. In 1992 she studied for her MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia under Sir Malcolm Bradbury and Rose Tremain.

Jacqui has taught creative writing in a broad variety of settings including from City University to Feltham Young Offenders Institution. She has also taught English and Drama in London secondary schools. 

In 2005, Jacqui founded The Writing Coach, a coaching and mentoring organisation for writers (www.thewritingcoach.co.uk). She is currently working on her first YA novel and returning to actor training at Identity School of Acting. (less)

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