Welcome to my stop on Emma Burstall's blog tour for her women's lit novel, The Darling Girls! This tour is hosted by the amazing Samantha at CLP Blog Tours! Today I have a review and guest post from the super sweet Emma Burstall!
Here's a bit about the book:
Author: Emma Burstall
Published: June 2012
Source: Author via CLP Blog Tours
* A review copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. *
Three women in love with the same man meet for the first time at his funeral. Can they separate the truth from the lies – and learn to trust again?
When world famous music conductor Leo Bruck dies suddenly, he leaves behind three grieving women and a mass of unanswered questions.
Did the man who juggled these simultaneous relationships while thrilling audiences around the globe, direct The Darling Girls like an orchestra?
Victoria, his partner of twenty years and mother of two of his children, regards herself as his rightful widow and keeper of his legacy. However, a series of shocking discoveries – revolving around Leo’s boyhood flight on the Kindertransport from Nazi-occupied Austria - forces her to re-examine the man she thought she knew and query the very foundation of their relationship.
Maddy, mother of Leo’s daughter Phoebe, has a high-powered job and seems independent and sorted. But events take a sinister turn when Maddy becomes involved with Victoria’s troubled teenage son, and her safe world starts to go awry.
Finally there’s Cat who, at just 24, is Leo’s youngest lover. Coping with a sick mother and battling demons from her childhood, she is finding it increasingly hard to hold it together. Will grief, anger and bitterness blind her to the possibility of ever finding happiness, career fulfilment - and even, perhaps, new love?
The Darling Girls is a moving story of love, loss, and the prevailing power of female friendship. Can these three very different women, whose lives become inextricably bound, break free from the masterful control Leo exerts - even from the grave - once and for all?
Three women that couldn't be more different all had one thing in common: the same lover. The women were each living their own lives, aware their lover had other women, but decided not knowing was better than facing the truth. At his funeral the three women meet... and from there they uncover secrets and lies that will forever change them.
An extremely moving and emotional story, The Darling Girls takes you on a tour through the lives of these three women, each dealing with their heartache in their own way. This story truly shows what devastation can come from an affair from all angles. Beautifully written and emotional, this story is sure to tug at the heartstrings and leave you flipping the pages quickly.
I would recommend this book to women. It has it all, touching upon love, loss, and friendship. It is very different from what I normally read, but I'm happy I gave it a chance.
And now for a guest post from Emma about her New Year Resolutions. It's too funny... and SO true! Enjoy!
My New Year Resolutions
I don’t normally make New Year resolutions on the basis that only you’re setting yourself up to fail. The worst thing you can do, in my view, is pledge to quit drinking or lose weight because January’s such a goddam awful month you need alcohol and chocolate just to get you through. Why punish yourself further?
However, I’ve decided to make an exception this year and make a few writing-related resolutions. And nice ones at that. Here they are. Hope you find them useful:
- I WILL put writing first. I don’t know about you but all too often I let day to day tasks get in the way of sitting down and really focusing on my work. In 2013 I’m going to close my study door, switch off the phone, Facebook, Twitter etc and promise myself three or four hours of solid, uninterrupted writing. No argument.
- I WILL aim to knock out my first draft in four of five months, instead of constantly going back and tinkering with what I’ve already written. It feels like an excuse and interferes with the flow. Besides, it’s a great feeling to have a first draft sitting on your computer waiting to be polished - so why put it off?
- I WILL go for early morning runs because I always enjoy them once I’m out there and fresh air is good for the brain. Also, it means I can allow myself treats while I’m writing. A café latte or two, elevenses, a glass of wine when I close my computer for the night!
- I WILL set myself a realistic word count every day – and stick to it. 1,000 words minimum. Some days I know I’ll exceed that easily, on others, it’ll be like drawing blood from a stone. But that’s just the way writing goes.
- I WILL stop complaining that writing’s hard – of course it is, so is being a labourer or a kindergarten teacher. When the words are jumbled in my brain and refusing to flow on to the page, I intend to remind myself what a fantastic PRIVILEGE it is to have the space to sit down and write a novel.
- I WILL pin these encouraging quotes to my wall and look at them when I’m feeling disheartened:Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
“If you are going through hell, keep going.”
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material
"There's no comparison between what's lost by not trying and what's lost by not succeeding."
“Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
“Never Give Up! Never, never, never, never give up. Never!”
HAPPY NEW YEAR – and happy writing!
Don't forget to stop by Emma's tour page for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!
Emma has written extensively for national newspapers and women’s magazines including the Guardian, Independent on Sunday, Red, Good Housekeeping, Woman & Home and Woman.
She read English at Cambridge University and began her career as a cub reporter on the Western Morning News in Plymouth, later becoming features editor of Woman and Family Circle.
She gets by in French and Spanish and works out – occasionally – at her local gym. After walking her youngest to school, you might also spot her jogging in Richmond Park with some friends. Slowly.
Emma lives in South West London with her husband, the political commentator Kevin Maguire, and their three children, aged 25, 20 and 10.
She’s currently working on her fourth novel.