I’ve long been a fan of Laura Wood’s glorious writing having loved her wonderful, ‘Poppy Pym,’ series with it’s mix of delightful characters and clever mysteries seamlessly woven together in the most marvellous of stories. So I was intrigued to discover that Laura was embarking on new writing adventure with her first YA debut, ‘A Sky Painted Gold,’ and the lure of devouring it proved impossible to resist. Nothing could quite prepare me for this truly exquisite and enchanting tale with it’s allure of glitz, glamour and endless parties with something dark bubbling beneath the surface. Lou is a passionate writer always looking for the stories hiding in places. Growing up she wonders about the grand Cardew House which has stood empty for years. Like a moth to a flame she is drawn to it’s faded elegance as it lies separated from the rest of the village by the tides covering it’s causeway. She feels a compulsive attachment to this house derived of occupants as it’s left neglected feeling an almost sense of ownership. She is dismayed when the new owners arrive for the summer and the house is restored to it’s glory days but finds that she can’t keep away. Soon she is unexpectedly thrown into this new and thrilling existence and as she gets closer to the Cardews, her relationship with them becomes all consuming leaving her old life behind. But what will happen when the summer is over, how can Lou exist outside of this intoxicating and exotic world.
Let me shout from the rooftops just how much I adored, ‘A Sky Painted Gold,’ nothing I will write in this review will ever capture the sheer triumph of Laura’s stunning writing. Intricately detailed with the most elaborate descriptions this book oozes beauty, elegance and excitement from every page, with a hint of danger just looming in the background. We see Lou transformed as she tries to understand the purpose of her life and completely understand why she embraces something completely different. Who could resist this sophisticated and spoilt world that she previously could only dream about. Emotionally we see her torn between her old life and new life whilst confusion about her feelings for Robert Cardew, as he plays hot and cold with her. The reader can see why she is inextricably drawn to this family, yet their relationship feels fragile and finite. I felt on edge in the very best of ways when reading it, waiting to see if the bubble would burst for Lou. Laura has assembled the most delectable cast of characters from the reserved cautious Robert to his effervescent but delicate sister Caitlin who he fiercely protects. I particularly loved Laurie her warmth, compassion and sheer boldness truly delighted me. Laura has captured magnificently the changes to society that were emerging in the 1920s which felt at the time wildly outrageous and daring, this book reflects this mood perfectly. An outstanding, gorgeous read that left me breathless, Laura has created a spectacular book.
Thank you to Scholastic for sending me a proof copy of this wonderful book. ‘A Sky Painted Gold,’ is released on the 5th July and is available to pre-order now online or from any good bookshop.