Friday, 29 August 2014

The Mill River Redemption Blog Tour and Review

The Mill River Redemption: Blog Tour and Review

'A touching story that encompasses the whole gamut of human behaviour with love and chariy' 
Red on The Mill River Recluse

Having unexpectedly lost her husband and lacking the means to support herself, Josie DiSanti and her two daughters take refuge in the small town of Mill River to live with Josie's aunt, Ivy. The sisters, Rose and Emily, are inseparable growing up - until a shocking tragedy tears them apart. 

Years later, Rose and Emily return to Mill River for the reading of their mother's will where they learn that Josie would do anything to force their reconciliation: the sisters must move into neighbouring houses for the summer and work together to locate the key to Josie's safe deposit box, which contains their inheritance. And so, left with no choice, Rose and Emily reluctantly begin their search. But in a place known for its magic and miracles, little do they know that an even greater treasure awaits them....

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Mill River Recluse, comes this enchanting story of family, self-discovery, love and forgiveness.

About the Author

Darcie Chan is the author of THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE, an originally self-published debut novel that became a word-of-mouth e-book sensation. With more than 700,000 copies sold, THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists for more than 30 weeks and became a heartwarming favorite of readers across the country.

"In the short time that I’ve been a writer – which is a description of myself that I’m still getting used to – I’ve learned a few things.  First, you should always expect the unexpected.  And, there is sometimes more than one path that will enable you to achieve a dream. For me, being able to get my first novel in front of readers as an e-book changed my career and my life. I will always be grateful to every person who read The Mill River Recluse, and especially those who took the time to review it, mention it to a friend, or send me a note of encouragement. Those readers – my readers – made my dream of being an author come true.  I only hope that my future books return to them some of the great happiness and enjoyment that they have given me."

My Review
After receiving a review copy from Little Brown Books UK, I was excited to dive headfirst into the second novel of an author I had heard so much about. Darcie Chan had taken over the world of literature, and hers was the name that passed everyones lips when recommending a great summer read. Shamefully I wil ladmit that I am yet to read The Mill River Recluse, however after flying through page after page of The Mill River Redemption, I know what the next book on my "To Be Read" list is. 
The Mill River Redemption brings a story of love, loss, friendship, family and mystery all rolled into one book of incredible literature that had me hanging on every word written by Miss Chan. When I discovered that the book was written in third person and flipped between different character viewpoints, I was a bit wary. I'm not normally a fan of third person writing, however this book was easy to read, and fitted together flawlessly. To add yet another difficult feat into the writing, Chan not only switches character viewpoints, but also time. The chapters are divided equally between modern day, focussing primarily on the lives of the two estranged sisters - Rose and Emily - however the book also takes us through the life of Josie DiSanti, from the week after the death of her husband in 1983 to 2011, two years before the story resumes with the sisters and the death of their mother. I was surprised to discover how I didn't favour one time or the other, I was desperately yearning to finish a chapter to read the next part of each family members story. 
On page 24, at the wake of their beloved mother, Rose and Emily are left a letter detailing what they must do in order to receive their mothers last will and testament; a glorified, adult version of a treasure hunt. Personally, I was ecstatic. I love treasure hunts, and I hadn't read a novel that included a treasure hunt for a very long time. I was thrilled and incredibly curious to see where this would take the story, and how Chan would evolve the treasure hunt over the course of the novel.
As the story progressed, I became increasingly curious and frustrated at how many mysteries Darcie Chan had successfully incorporated into this book. 

1. Why/How did Tony (Josie's husband) die, and why was Josie so afraid?
2. What happened to the sisters, why did they become estranged?
3. Who gifted the house to Josie? (I expect this has something to do with Darcie's first book)

These three mysteries were so well intertwined with the story that I found myself desperate to know the answers, so much that I read long into the night, only to finish the book and discover it was past 4am.

The characters created by the author were exceptional. I associated myself very quickly with characters that I loved, and those that I grew to despise. Emily, one of the sisters, is created as a kind, open hearted, friendly and down to earth girl who grows into a wonderful women, whilst her sister, Rose, is a character which I hated with a burning passion. The things that she says and does and her actions made me determined to never become like her. Amongst Rose and Emily were the characters of Ivy, Claudia, Kyle, Alex, Sheldon, Darcy, Ned, Ruth, Fitz and of course, Josie. All with their own individual personalities and traits, and all with a back story. Every single character was written in a way that they had some importance, something that made you either like them or despise them, but either way they weren't just there as character fluff - they became real people, and I personally would love to read individuals books by Chan all about every character she mentioned and wrote so flawlessly.

Within the novel were beautiful gems of writing, gems that I will take and hold on to for all my life. Quotes that left me breathless with their beauty and insight into human nature. Sentences that made me laugh until my stomach hurt, or cry until I had no tears left. A total emotional adventure was created by Darcie Chan in the Mill River Redemption. With twists and turns on every page, this book never had a dull moment, and left me hungry for more long after I'd turned the final page.

The novel crosses genres from Family to Chick Lit to Mystery and Cosy Reading, incorporating beautiful life lessons and advice that I will take to the grave.

"Loving someone unconditionally is never pointless. Even when it results in your getting hurt, you can still learn from the experience." 

If you are interested in following the remainder of the blog tour, or seeing past reviews for The Mill River Redemption, check out the schedule below!

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