Latest Reads

So Pretty – Ronnie Turner

My thanks to Anne Cater, as always who runs the Orenda blog tours with military precession. And fro inviting me to be part of this tour for the amazing Ronnie Turner. So Pretty is sure to lead Ronnie on the path she intends to tread and with Karen Sullian’s directions, they will take her to far off places. Published on 19th January 2023.

A young man arrives in a small town, hoping to leave his past behind him, but everything changes when he takes a job in a peculiar old shop, and meets a lonely single mother…

Fear blisters through this town like a fever…

When Teddy Colne arrives in the small town of Rye, he believes he will be able to settle down and leave his past behind him. Little does he know that fear blisters through the streets like a fever. The locals tell him to stay away from an establishment known only as Berry & Vincent, that those who rub too closely to its proprietor risk a bad end.

Despite their warnings, Teddy is desperate to understand why Rye has come to fear this one man, and to see what really hides behind the doors of his shop. Ada moved to Rye with her young son to escape a damaged childhood and years of never fitting in, but she’s lonely, and ostracised by the community. Ada is ripe for affection and friendship, and everyone knows it.

As old secrets bleed out into this town, so too will a mystery about a family who vanished fifty years earlier, and a community living on a knife-edge. Teddy looks for answers, thinking he is safe, but some truths are better left undisturbed, and his past will find him here, just as it always has. And before long, it will find Ada too.

Our Author – Ronnie Turner

Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in the South West with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. Ronnie is a Waterstones Senior Bookseller and a barista, and her youth belies her exceptional, highly unusual talent.

My Review – So Pretty

We first meet Teddy Colne a quiet, timid man with a past that has kept him moving about his whole adult life. Scared to be found out and so he never stays anywhere too long. He’s moved to the seaside town of Rye and takes the first job he finds, in Berry and Vincent an old curiosity shops that sells mainly to tourists, as the locals it seems avoid the place like the plague. Mr Vincent and an odd fellow who so stories tells, drove his business partner away. He’s old now and needs help in the shop, but is Teddy the right choice?

Ada Belling and her young son Albie moved to Rye a while back but have struggled to make friends. Ada is very protective of Albie and worries about him, being a single mum, all eyes are on her to ensure he’s safe and happy, but clean and polite too. Ada had an awkward upbringing, and this is perhaps why she dotes on Albie so much.

Yet Ada is friendly and soon she sees Teddy around more regularly and they start to meet for lunch and then venture to taking Albie to the beach and the play park.

Their friendship is slow building but as time moves on they try to explain to each other their upbringings. Teddy is not as forth coming with his family life to Ada as she is to him and only tells her about his mother. Both are complicated individuals and this is evident in their trust of each other.

Ronnie’s style of writing in So Pretty is evidently older than her years, she’s a skill with words that shows dexterity which engages the reader. I soon felt like there was more to the characters and wanted the story to lead me deeper. Teddy especially seemed to have a dark side that Ada was scared of upsetting and all along Mr Vincent held a heavy presence too.

So Pretty made me feel unsettled and scared about Ada’s well being. I’m so glad the ending was laid out like it was, but cant say more, as I don’t want to spoil it for others. I know Ronnie will be back with more for us to enjoy and that she will only go from strength to strength with her books.

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