Author: Josephine Pennicott
Poet’s Cottage is not what I expected, to say the least. When I heard that I had this coming up to read I wasn’t excited, I can’t tell you now what I was expecting because I don’t remember – what I can tell you is that it certainly wasn’t what I got. Having said that, all I heard was the title so this was a feeling I got before I even read the blurb on the back of the book. I was more expecting a romantic, soul searching journey I think.
I started reading the very same day I received the book and was quickly sucked into the threads of this story that centres around an atmospheric old house in a small fishing town in Tasmania. The house is Poet’s Cottage, inherited by Sadie from her mother who spent her early years in the house with her family.
Poet’s Cottage is written in the present day when Sadie moves to Tasmania with her daughter after the breakdown of her marriage and the death of her mother, she decides on a change of scenery and moves into Poet’s Cottage. Pencubbitt is certainly a far cry from Sydney.
The story isn’t all set in the present day though, a lot of the story is set in 1936 when Sadie’s grandmother was living in Poet’s Cottage, we learn of events as Sadie does.
In 1936 Poet’s Cottage was inhabited by children’s author Pearl Tatlow, her husband and her two daughters. Now, close to a century later, Sadie moves in with her daughter and Sadie is also a writer. She is working freelance writing for magazines but hoping to write an expose revealing all of the previously unknown information about her infamous grandmother.
They say Poet’s Cottage has always been home to creative types and writers, it has an aura that calls to it’s own and Tatlow’s always return, which is why the whole town seems to know exactly who Sadie is from the moment she arrives in town.
Gorgeously written, this book is entirely a work of fiction inspired by the beautiful Tasmanian landscape, a picturesque cottage and the unique mentality of tiny towns where everyone knows everyone else. Pair that with an inexplicable mystery from much earlier in the century and you have an intriguing read that will keep you guessing.
This book has a little bit of everything and certainly kept my brain leafing through tidbits of info long after I should have been sleeping as I tried to fit the pieces together.
Pennicott’s storytelling is vivid and haunting as I watch the scenes playback in my mind, perfectly depicted with her descriptions. The characters jumped out of the page at me and forced me to to feel for them, a whole range of emotions for the situations they all had to live through.
There were times I kept sitting back thinking that it all sounded a little deja vu, a little of history repeating, which was encouraged by all the talk of Poet’s Cottage being haunted and Sadie’s physical resemblance to Pearl.
The atmosphere evoked within these pages definitely suits the period concerned and my only issue was that at times I found myself getting lost in which timezone i was supposed to be foucssing on.
Poet’s Cottage is a book that certainly exceeded my expectations and exercised my mind.
A selection of our members read Poet’s Cottage, find out what they thought below…