MRS SINCLAIR’S SUITCASE, by Louise Walters, has a cover to die for. This woman has a secret. At least one. And she’s lovely. But it’s the secret I’m interested in.
It’s almost impossible to believe this is a first novel. It’s fresh and unique. It’s about war, strong women and lies. And throw in a wonderful bookstore that sells new and old books. Boom! A perfect storm.
“Set in England across generations , MRS SINCLAIR’S SUITCASE delivers the captivating stories of Dorothea Sinclair, an unhappily married World War II-era British housewife, and her modern day granddaughter Roberta Pietrykowski, a solitary bookstore clerk whose life seems to be stalled. In this vividly imagined first novel, Walters weaves Dorothea’s suspenseful historical tale with Roberta’s poignant contemporary one. The result is” a first novel of great charm and assurance, beautifully told and utterly gripping” ( The Times, UK)
The show-stopping letter on page one written to Dorothea is enough to keep you reading nonstop. I just had to know what on earth this was about. Who were these people.? Why such drama?
Walter’s has totally captured Dorothea’s disconsolate world. Makes you wonder how many women were mired down in marriages filled with no love and much angst. During wartime it must have been even harder. And how many women were abused? Over and over? So sad and horrific. When Dorothea finally has a chance at love you would have to be out of your mind not to cheer for her.
But this fine-tuned novel is not all sun and roses. Far from it. It is down-to-earth and full of reality. Just when I thought I’d figured it out, something would totally turn me around.
Roberta works in a bookstore. The owner is a handsome raven-haired young man who treats Roberta like a sister. He seems to be quite the ladies man. Walters has managed to bring the smells of the books and the pages of the letters found in the books to life. I am a big book-sniffer. I love the musty, inky odor of a great book almost as much as great cooking. Sometimes more.
So we have a mystery within the stacks, present day. Then we have goings on during the war. We have moral dilemma and lots of choices. Right up my alley.
This book ended up running away with me. I was up until after midnight one night, finishing it. I am still licking my lips over the story. I think you will be too.
” Walters lives in Northamptonshire with her husband and five children.She’s been busy earning her Honours degree in Literature over a twelve-year stretch. She’s held odd jobs including working in a second-hand bookstore where, among the well-worn pages, she found a host of forgotten treasures.”
I received my gorgeous, smoldering, finished hard cover from Penguin Putnam in exchange for an honest review. I am thrilled to be able to highly recommend MRS. SINCLAIR’S SUITCASE by Louis Walters.