Thursday 6 January 2022

The Unravelling by Polly Crosby Blog Tour

 Last year I had the privilege of joining the blog tour for Polly Crosby's novel, The Illustrated Child. It was a story that was weaved together magically and captured my imagination completely.

So when I was given the chance to be a part of the tour for her latest book, The Unravelling, there wasn't anyway that I could say no as I just knew that it would be something special. And I'm sure you'll agree after reading my review.


Tartelin has been employed by Marianne Stourbridge to hunt for butterflies, but she quickly uncovers something far more intriguing. The island and Marianne share a remarkable past, and what happened all those years ago has left its scars.

The island has a strange effect on Tartelin, too, finally allowing her to confront her own, painful, memories. As she does, Marianne’s story begins to unravel around her, revealing an extraordinary tale of two girls, an obsession with pearls, and a truth beyond imagination.

This is a story that lures you in, making you want to absorb each and every word.

Beautifully haunting.

A tale of not one but two lost souls, bought back to life by one strange island.

There is just something so unique about Polly's storytelling. It entices you in, almost poetic in its delivery, painting a vivid picture before your eyes.

The Unravelling is told from two perspectives.

In the present day we have our main protagonist is Tartelin, who after suffering the loss of her mother, is hired by the main inhabitant of the island of Dohhalund Mrs Stourbridge to essentially catch butterflies and kill them, so they can be pinned and studied. The purpose of this study is secret kept by the old lady of the house.

Going back into the past we have a young Mrs Stourbridge (Marianne). Her timeline is split over the years, seeing her as a young girl and then years later as a grown woman. 

Details of both women's lives are slowly revealed. What they have gone through is at times tragic but I think by the end the events almost seemed necessary to make them the women they are today.

There is a moment when their grief I guess you could say collides.

Initially the relationship between these two women comes across as difficult, quite strained. But despite them on first appearances being so different to each other, it is there pure determination to keep going, to keep living that essentially brings them together.

Everything about this tale is atmospheric, mysterious. I felt compelled to read it.

The Island itself is like a character in its own right. Providing not only the perfect backdrop the over all story but also giving each character their own sense of purpose, of belonging. I guess you could see it as being a friend, a faithful companion.

I won't share any details of Mrs Stourbridge's story, as I feel it is hers to tell but what I will say is that although at times I felt an overwhelming sadness, by the time I'd reached the final chapters, the pages exuded a certain warmth and hope.

Everything eventually unravels (see what I did there) friendships, families and emotions and as secrets are revealed, great changes occur.

When I described Crosby's previous novel, I said it was like reading a fairytale and The Unravelling certainly has the same vibe about it. Talk of the sea, mermaids and pearls, the author has a fantastic way of charming and surprising the reader.

This is a novel that combines fantasy and real life which combined creates an utterly charming tale.

Join the rest of the blog tour for more insight into this fascinated story.


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