Author: Anna Romer
Publication Date: May 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher
Anna Romer has firmly planted herself as one of my favourites and her books just keep getting better.
Under the Midnight Sky is the latest release and it captivated me from the first page to the last; it drew me back time and time again so that I was sneaking in single chapters at every opportunity, reading long after I should have been doing something else and finished in 24hrs.
Once again Romer has captured the atmosphere of her setting and turned an old house into a gothic character in her novel. A building that houses deep secrets and has a personality all of it’s own.
I keep wanting to categorise this as an historical fiction because of the dual timelines but I’m not sure that it quite fits there. There are romantic elements but I’m not sure that I would call it a romance either. It has been reviewed for the AWW Challenge 2019 in General, Historical, Romance and Crime genres and it does fit each category. For me, the story is definitely about the mystery with the history and the romance secondary, though most definitely essential elements to the story.
Under The Midnight Sky is a story that doesn’t seem to have an overwhelming number of characters but there are quite a lot of perspectives which does take a little while to get your head around.
Abby Bardot has moved back to her small hometown of Gundara, still suffering from events that took place decades ago, and she goes for a run every morning alongside Deepwater Gorge searching for answers that will finally allow her mind to rest.
On a morning run she discovers an injured teen and runs for help, by the time she returns with the ambulance the girl is gone but it deepens Abby’s desire to have her story about the grisly history of Deepwater Gorge printed in the newspaper. A story that the editor promises to print if Abby can get an in-depth interview with the reclusive bestselling true crime author Tom Gabriel who has recently purchased a local property.
Abby turns up to Ravensong unannounced one day and discovers an injured Tom in a compromising position and negotiates her help for an interview.
Tom is an interesting character in that he has quite a colourful past, and an intriguing relationship with the press which makes him hesitant to agree to an interview. The novel he is working on is supposed to centre on the history of Deepwater Gorge but he is suffering writer’s block, he was hoping that being so close to the area would help but so far it hasn’t.
The negotiations between Tom and Abby included some cleaning up around the place and as Abby cleans she starts uncovering some of the history of the house, and the story gets ever more interesting.
Lil and Joe are a gorgeous old couple living on land outside of town, also close to Deepwater Gorge. We get to know them through chapters of their own and their role in the bigger story that is being told takes a while to become clear.
On it’s own, their story is one of an enduring love that sees two people still in love and unable to comprehend a life apart from one another after decades of marriage.
Romer has woven a compelling story with Ravensong firmly at its centre. A story that explores PTSD, small communities and the snap judgements that can be made about people of a different socio-economic background. Romer also explores families, relationships and all forms of love.
Abby wants to see the history of the area shared to warn people of the dangers but some people want to keep things out of the news because the town can’t afford to take a tourism hit.
I found Under The Midnight Sky to be a captivating read with some delicious twists. I was invested in the characters and their stories, and touched by their heartaches.
Available now from Simon & Schusterand where all good books are sold.