Review: Arnold Drive by Hugh Cornwell

arnoldArnold Drive by Hugh Cornwell

“Nothing much has ever happened to Rev Arnold Drive, the meekly quiet vicar of St Tobias. Feeling safe only within the walls of his church and the gentle rules of his faith, Arnold is ironically a man utterly without drive; a man content that nothing much ever happens. Nothing, that is, until the day his church is sold off to property developers. Ejected from his church and his home, Arnold is thrust out into the modern world – a world for which he is utterly ill-equipped.

Suddenly, life presents Arnold with a series of moral dilemmas that test his faith, his judgement and his understanding of human nature. His first experience of love and sex, a surprise confession of murder, a suicide, the prospect of unexpected wealth, the discovery of a hidden family history, all cause Arnold to reassess the certainties he has taken for granted. Then, a near-fatal car accident forces him to face up to the fragility of sanity and of life itself…

Arnold Drive is the story of a man’s journey from innocence to experience where he discovers his moral compass isn’t always pointing the right way. ”

 

I think it was about chapter three when I fell in love with Arnold Drive. He is an incredible character capable of such genuine affection and empathy. His foibles, such as the bars of sunlight on the carpeting and his preoccupation with the barking dog, really brought him to life for me. I felt like I was reading his pilgrimage from who he was to the man he becomes. I have heard Arnold being referred to as naïve, but I’m not entirely sure I agree- to me he was un-jaded, and that is a marvellous thing to be.

His journey begins when he is forced to leave the church, and along with questioning his faith, he loses his identity and they way he viewed his future life. I thought it was a traumatic moment for him because he then had to face an uncertainty and forge a new life from scratch – and the life he rebuilt was quite extraordinary. There was a lot of karmic justice being weighed out, for every good thing that happened to him, something equally bad resulted. Even in Arnold’s darkest hours, he overcame and retained his genteel graceful nature- never allowing the negatively to darken his soul.

“Arnold Drive” is a remarkable book, and Hugh Cornwell’s meandering prose is enchanting and eloquent. The author does have a unique style that takes a few pages to get used to, but once I did I was captivated. I regret now purchasing this book in a kindle edition, because after reading, I want it paperback – to keep and reread often.

I found this book on the Unbound publisher’s website and it immediately caught my eye. It was after finishing this book and googling the author for his other works, did I find that he was “the” Hugh Cornwell. I am glad that I was ignorant of that fact because I went in with no preconceptions or expectations, without having to separate the artist from the author.

I devoured this book within hours of buying it, only stopping to sleep and I felt lost when it was finished. It left me wanting more and for the book to never finish. “Arnold Drive” was an immersive experience that I can highly recommend. This book is now a beloved favourite of mine and I look forward to reading more from Hugh Cornwell.

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What A Woman Desires – Rachel Brimble + Giveaway!

Blog Tour: What A Woman Desires – Rachel Brimble + Giveaway!

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Rachel Brimble is starting 2015 in style and bringing you a new book to sink your teeth into! The  romance author will be visiting some fantastic blogs with her latest strong, independent heroine and doting hero in tow, with reviews, guest posts and a giveaway. 

What they say:rachelbrimble

From country girl to actress of the stage, one woman dares to live her dreams — but is she brave enough to open her heart…?

Monica Danes always wanted more than the village of Biddlestone had to offer. After a failed courtship to a man of her parents’ choosing, she fled for the city of Bath and never looked back. Today, Monica is the undisputed queen of the theater — a wealthy, independent woman. But when she is called home in the wake of tragedy, Monica returns—intending to leave again as soon as possible.

Thomas Ashby has been a groom at the Danes estate since he was a boy—and has been enamored with Monica for almost as long. He knows he isn’t a suitable match for his master’s daughter, despite the special bond he and Monica have always shared—and their undeniable attraction. But now that she’s returned, Thomas has one last chance to prove himself worthy—and to show Monica a life, and a love, she won’t want to give up…

I was not sure what to expect when I first saw this title, but I was hooked on the first chapter. Monica and Thomas are such great characters. There was so much tension between them- I loved every minute of their romance. Both characters are deeply flawed, but that just added to their appeal and gave their development an emotive depth.

 

There are so many levels to this book, from romance to family dramas, and Rachel Brimble really throws her heart and soul into  this magnificent novel. 5 stars may not be enough! I loved this book and highly recommend.

 

Click Here To Buy This Book – UK

Click Here To Buy This Book – US

 

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Author Bio:

Rachel BrimbleI live with my fantastic husband, our two young daughters and my beloved black Labrador, Max in a small market town near the famous Georgian City of Bath.  Having always ‘played’ with writing, I didn’t seriously sit down and write toward publication until I became pregnant with my second daughter – then I told myself to get my butt in the chair and get on with it before she grows up and I’m forced to get a real job!

Lots of short stories followed as did lots of rejections!  I took a few distance learning courses, joined some online writers groups and basically, learned my craft.  Finally deciding short stories weren’t working for me (they are an art form in themselves!), in 2006 I decided to embark on my first novel and voila Searching For Sophie was born!  Since then, my other books have followed each year.

And when I’m not writing? You’ll find me with my head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with my family.  And in the evening?  Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused.

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Rachel Brimble and CandleLit Author Services reserve the right to cancel or amend this giveaway at any time and without prior notification. No responsibility is taken for non-delivery of prizes.