Review: Currawong Manor by Josephine Pennicott

 

Title: Currawong Manor

Author: Josephine Pennicott

Read an exclusive excerpt posted earlier at Book’d Out

Published: Pan Macmillan June 2014

Status: Read from June 09 to 11, 2014 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

An atmospheric novel of mystery, drama and tragedy, Currawong Manor has a similar tone and premise to author Josephine Pennicott’s previous novel, Poet’s Cottage.

Photographer Elizabeth Thorrington has always been eager to learn more about her grandfather, Rupert Partridge, a well known, controversial artist who mysteriously vanished in 1945 on the same day his beloved daughter, Shalimar, and wife Doris, met their tragic deaths. Invited by the current owners of Currawong Manor, the Partridge’s former estate, to collaborate on a book about her grandfather’s life and art, Elizabeth is excited by the opportunity to meet with one of Rupert’s notorious muses, Ginger Flower, and Dolly Shaw, the daughter of the Partridge’s housekeeper, once Shalimar’s playmate. Elizabeth is convinced these women know what happened on that fateful day and hopes they will share the secrets they have kept for more than half a century… but perhaps some mysteries are best left unsolved.

The narrative moves between the past and the present as Elizabeth, along with true crime writer, and former muso, Nick Cash begin to piece together the history of the manor and its former residents, aided by Ginger’s recall of her time at Currawong Manor as one of Rupert’s three life models, known as the ‘Flowers’. Slowly Pennicott unravels an intriguing story of love, art, scandal and betrayal that reveals the truth of the tragedy that befell the Partridge family.

The writing is evocative, with lyrical phrasing creating a haunting, oppressive atmosphere. Set in Mt Bellbird, a small village in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, there are definite gothic overtones to this novel. The grand, partially restored Currawong Manor looms from the bush, surrounded by barely tamed gardens and bordered by the forbidding Owlbone Woods, in which something unseen lurks.

An impressively crafted literary story, Currawong Manor is an absorbing and dramatic tale.

Available to purchase from

PanMacmillan I boomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Bookworld I via Booko

Amazon AU I Amazon US

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. writenote1
    Jun 13, 2014 @ 21:52:05

    The Blue Mountains are made for gothic-style stories. Can’t wait to read this one. It’s on the list!

    Reply

  2. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence
    Jun 14, 2014 @ 13:00:11

    Sounds really unique and haunting, thanks for sharing with us! Great review.

    Reply

  3. cleopatralovesbooks
    Jun 15, 2014 @ 05:53:04

    This sounds absolutely fantastic, so much so I had to go and check I could get a copy in the UK (I can) so I’m looking forward to being transported to The Blue Mountains now.

    Reply

  4. Trackback: Modernists and Muses – Tale Peddler - Josephine Pennicott

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