Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Emergence of Judy Taylor by Angela Jackson

Judy is married to her dependable husband, Oliver, and they appear to be very happy.  They have a close circle of friends, most of whom Judy has known since primary school and life trundles along in an uneventful fashion.  However, when she discovers a sinister lump and endures a barrage of medical tests she realises that it is time to re-evaluate her life.

She has some hard choices to make.  She knows that she wants a different life but does not know what form that will take.  Her decision to leave all she knows and head to Edinburgh is one that shocks her family and friends to the core.  Amidst all her confusion, will Judy be able to decide what it is she is looking for and ultimately achieve it?

The characters in this book are very strong.  The main character, Judy, is well rounded and many of her thoughts and actions will resonate with lots of readers.  On the one hand, her decision to leave her husband and family could appear selfish and lacking in feeling for those she has left behind.  On the other hand,  she demonstrates a strength of character that is to be admired and demonstrates much courage in her decision.

The author has a lovely writing style and manages to bring quite minor characters to life.  When Lily, who Judy meets in Edinburgh, talks about the loss of her husband I found this deeply moving.  For just this short time, the author moved from Judy’s voice to Lily’s and it was very powerful and demonstrated great skill.

I thought this book was fantastic and I loved it.  It is thought provoking, observant and sensitive whilst demonstrating humour.  It is about the consequences of the decisions we make on ourselves and others.  It’s about loss, death and heartbreak but ultimately, it is a book about life and living it the best way we can.

I am very impressed by this debut novel and I am looking forward to reading more from Angela Jackson. She is a new writer to watch and if this book is anything to judge by, will produce some outstanding writing.

ISBN:  9781472101655

Publisher:  Canvas

Price (based on today’s price at  £4.95

Total saving to date:  £73.76

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