Saturday, 25 March 2017

The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz – Pre-Release Review

432 pages
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: April 1
Buy Links: Mira | Amazon | Amazon UK

The blurb

She has nothing to live for in the present, but finds there's something worth dying for in the past…

From Tiffany Reisz, the international bestselling storyteller behind The Bourbon Thief and The Original Sinners series, comes an enthralling new novel about a woman swept away by the tides who awakens to find herself in 1921, reunited with the husband she's been mourning for four years. Fans of Kate Morton and Diana Gabaldon will fall in love with the mystery, romance and beauty of an isolated South Carolina lighthouse, where a power greater than love works its magic. 

My thoughts

“The night mark is the pattern the light flashed. Some lighthouses had a steady beam. Some lights flashed. That’s how navigators told lighthouses apart.”

Surely I don’t need to tell you that Tiffany Reisz tells amazing stories. Her imagination is a thing of wonder and her characters are always, not so much larger than life, but painted with such clarity they come to life.

The Night Mark is a very emotional story. When it starts and we meet Faye she is only surviving. Four years after her soul mate, Will, died, she’s still buried so deep in her grief that it felt almost as if it was the only thing that kept her going. Grief is Faye and Faye is grief and while she’s making an attempt to kick start her life again, it seems as if that life will have to fit around that grief, accommodate it, because when Faye lost Will, she lost her reason for being.

“Whoever first said it was better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all had neither loved nor ever lost.” – Faye

Then Faye almost drowns and when she comes to she thinks she’s been reunited with her Will, or at the very least that she’s experiencing the most lucid dream she has ever experienced. Except that the man isn’t Will, and she isn’t dreaming. Instead she finds herself almost a century in the past, and in the company Carrick, who closely resembles, but isn’t Will.

I’m not going to say a whole lot more about the story itself. Twists and turns kept me turning the pages as secrets were revealed, and surprises kept me guessing. This is a love story in its purest form. A ‘love-overcomes-all’ sorta story. The wording is both lyrical and at times introspective, but never too much of either. And both the main and the secondary characters we’re fascinating and so well portrayed I felt I knew them on a personal level.

I loved how this story played with time. It is not impossible that time-travel purists will have one or two questions relating to whether or not history should or could change, by the time the story ends. I just lost myself in the romance of it all and decided that I would stick to Carrick’s theory.

“To think I spent my whole life believing time only went in one direction, (…). Thought it was a river. Turns out it’s an ocean. Waves come in. Waves go out. Sometimes those waves take us with them.” – Carrick

While Tiffany is an all-round fabulous author, there is one thing she does better than anyone else I’ve ever read; she writes the best priests ever. Pat Cahill in this book proves that once again.

“My job entailed turning wine into God’s blood, so I don’t think I can judge you too harshly.” – Pat Cahill.

I received an ARC of this title through Netgalley and while it pains me to do so I have to say that I hope this wasn’t the final version. I came across issues both with  both formatting and editing. Nothing so major or shocking it took me out of the story, never mind put me off reading it or even made me mark the story down, but enough of them to make me sit up and mention them here.

To summarize: The Night Mark only confirmed what The Original Sinners books had already told me; this author possesses a rare and wonderful form of genius. And while the Original Sinners will, in all likelihood, always be my favourite stories and characters by this author, I now know, without a shadow of doubt, that she can write just about anything she puts her mind (and fingers) to. And I will continue to greedily devour those words of hers.

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