The Three Miss Allens is the first book I read by Victoria Purman. I must confess that when I opened the first pages it took me a small while to get into the story. I’m usually one of those bang-bang fast paced plot people and for a fraction of a second, wondered if it was going to appeal to me. I’m so glad I kept reading because not long after, I was hooked. The plot was certainly engaging and had me enthralled. I read the rest of the book in one sitting and was thankful that Victoria spent the time to set the scene at the beginning because without it, I wouldn’t have been so thoroughly transported into another world that felt so familiar.
Here’s is the blurb:
How much of who we are is destiny and how much chance?
In 1934, the three Miss Allens – Ruby, Adeline and Clara – arrive in the seaside town of Remarkable Bay for their annual summer holiday. It’s the last time they’ll spend summers as a family. Adeline is engaged, Ruby is weighing up an offer, and Clara is just eighteen and about to start her life. But by summer’s end, the lives they have known will change irrevocably and a mysterious secret will tear the family apart.
Set on the sunny sea side town of Remarkable Bay in Adelaide, Victoria is fast becoming a force in the Australian literary scene and I believe this book is going to be a hit this summer.Eighty-two years later, Ruby’s great-granddaughter Roma Harris moves to the now sleepy Remarkable Bay, retreating from tragedy. Roma’s distant cousin Addy arrives too, fleeing a life with too much drama. It’s only when the women discover an old guest book that they start asking questions about the mysterious third Miss Allen. Who was she? Why has she disappeared from the family’s history?
If they solve this mystery from their past, could it change the women’s futures?
Here’s my thoughts:
I love the bittersweet moments when you are transported from the past to the future and realise that after tragedy and broken hearts, there is a silver lining for our heroines (and those damn cute Stapleton boys). My favourite relationship is by far Roma’s and Connor’s. There’s something about overcoming heartache and learning to love again that makes for great reading. I think we all like to hope that if it ever happened to us, we’d make it through somehow.
I’m a little sad at Clara’s journey and wish that there was a little bit more at the end about Addy’s and Roma’s also uncovering her fate. Perhaps there’s a second book coming?
As a writer, here is what I learned:
Victoria writes really good sexy scenes. She’s had no easy task in describing the way multiple couples fall in and out of love, but she did it amazingly. The sexual tension is there, the originality is there and yet, there’s no crudeness to those bow-chica-wow-wow scenes and they don’t take over the story – they compliment it. I hope she decides to teach in this area because I would definitely be the first to enrol. But if you can’t wait for that, check out the post Victoria wrote for me recently on writing fabulous dialogue.
Five Stars! Do yourself a favour and go out and buy this book. It’s the perfect gift for Christmas in Australia.