Tuesday, 6 January 2015
Prudencia Prim is a young woman of intelligence and achievement, with a deep knowledge of literature and several letters after her name. But when she accepts the post of private librarian in the village of San Ireneo de Arnois, she is unprepared for what she encounters there. Her employer, a book-loving intellectual, is dashing yet contrarian, always ready with a critique of her cherished Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott. The neighbours, too, are capable of charm and eccentricity in equal measure, determined as they are to preserve their singular little community from the modern world outside. Prudencia hoped for friendship in San Ireneo but she didn't suspect that she might find love - nor that the course of her new life would run quite so rocky, would offer challenge and heartache as well as joy, discovery and fireside debate. The Awakening of Miss Prim is a distinctive and delightfully entertaining tale of literature, philosophy and the search for happiness.
I really enjoyed this book, it was something fresh and different to most of the books on the market at the moment. When the publicist contacted me she said that they thought it was going to a very popular read and I definitely agree with this, it captured my attention and I just had to keep reading it, until it was finished and I wanted to return to Miss Prim's world just one more time!
I loved Miss Prim's character from the very start of the book. She was an unusual character, a well educated lady, who takes up the post of private librarian to 'The Man in the Wing Chair', intriguing in himself as he is never named but plays a big role in the book. The conversations between the two of them are fantastic - often open to interpretation. Their regular sparring is not in hatred for each other, I think there is a attraction between the pair which plays out in these moments. She travels a great journey through this book, a person journey where she grows in person. Add to this humourous the children who the man educates and the cast is fantastic. The setting of San Ireneo sounds idyllic and the perfect setting for this book, tucked away where tourists don't visit and the community live in their own little bubble.
Entwined throughout the book are references to the work of Jane Austen, great philosophers and the authors of the great pieces of literature which populate our history. It will make a great book for literature lovers.
The book was fantastically written and I think it will appeal to many different types of readers. There are parts of the story which are , others which I was left thinking about, contemplating for hours after I put the book down.
I recommend this book to all my blog readers. Thank you to the publishers, Abacus, for sending me the book to review.