Thursday, January 2, 2014

White Horizon by Jan Ruth

A dramatic story of forgiveness, family and friendship set in the Welsh Mountains of Snowdonia. Three couples in crisis. Multiple friendships under pressure.

On-off-on lovers Daniel and Tina return to their childhood town near Snowdonia. After twenty five years together, they marry in typically chaotic fashion, witnessed by old friends Victoria and Linda who become entangled in the drama, their own lives changing beyond recognition.
But as all their marriages begin to splinter, and damaged Victoria begins an affair with Daniel, the secret illness that Tina has been hiding emerges. Victoria’s crazed and violent ex-husband attempts to kill Daniel and nearly succeeds, in a fire that devastates the community. On the eve of their first wedding anniversary, Tina returns to face her husband- but is it to say goodbye forever, or to stay?

Star Rating

I received this book from the author for an open and honest review.

This was the second of Jan Ruth's novels I have read, and having thoroughly enjoyed the first (Wild Water), I was looking forward to reading another of her publications. Although I would describe Jan Ruth's novels as 'women's fiction' it is certainly not 'chick-lit' and she deals with some quite gritty and serious issues within her writing. 

White Horizon focuses on the relationships of three couples - Dan and Tina, Linda and Mike and Victoria and Max. The story begins at the wedding of Dan and Tina although it quickly  becomes clear that things aren't quite as rosy as they seem. With the other couples being guests at the wedding, the old school friends catch up having not really kept in touch since high-school. Early on in the story it becomes apparent that these relationships will break down, mix and change with some quite tragic consequences.

Jan Ruth is a very skilled writer and was able to interwine the three relationships with great ease and fluidity. However, with so many characters involved from the start I did find myself having to write down who everyone was and how they were linked. The characters are very real and develop in personality as the story progresses. At times, I felt the detailed characterisation took away from the fullness of the plot. However, ultimately this is a novel based on the lives of characters and for the fans of 'soap-opera style character drama' this is a must read!

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