I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of the launch celebrations for Owl Song At Dawn by Emma Claire Sweeney. Owl Song At Dawn was published by Legend Press on 1st July 2016 and is available for purchase in e-book and paperback on Amazon, from W H Smith, Waterstones and from all good bookshops.
Owl Song At Dawn
Maeve Maloney is a force to be reckoned with. Despite nearing eighty, she keeps Sea View Lodge just as her parents did during Morecambe’s 1950s heyday. But now only her employees and regular guests recognise the tenderness and heartbreak hidden beneath her spikiness.
Until, that is, Vincent shows up. Vincent is the last person Maeve wants to see. He is the only man alive to have known her twin sister, Edie. The nightingale to Maeve’s crow, the dawn to Maeve’s dusk, Edie would have set her sights on the stage all things being equal. But, from birth, things never were.
If only Maeve could confront the secret past she shares with Vincent, she might finally see what it means to love and be loved a lesson that her exuberant yet inexplicable twin may have been trying to teach her all along.
My Review of Owl Song At Dawn
Maeve Maloney runs a guest house for those with a range of abilities, keeping the past at bay by being busy. But when Vincent arrives on the doorstep, the past won’t stay away.
What a tour de force. Owl Song At Dawn is, quite simply, an outstanding novel. I’m not entirely sure that what I write about it will do it justice.
It took me a long time to complete as I had to read Owl Song At Dawn in short bursts because I found the intensity of the underlying emotions so overwhelming that I could only cope with a bit at a time. It broke my heart from the very beginning. There was something in the fierce love and desperate guilt that Maeve displays that captivated me and touched my soul. She is an incredible woman, flawed, proud, loving and so very lonely that I wanted to travel to Morecombe and hold her, to tell her ‘All’s all right now Linda’s here’.
The structure of the novel is incredible as we weave back and forth in Maeve’s life and memories. Underpinned by letters and emails (some of which made me rage) we get a full picture of exactly how Edie is in all her glory, even though she is only present in Maeve’s reminiscences. And this is what is so brilliant about Emma Claire Sweeney’s writing. Edie’s reported comments and sayings act almost like a Greek Chorus to enhance the readers understanding of events and characters in Owl Song At Dawn, but also their understanding of society both in the time the book is partly set and today. I thought it was a stroke of brilliance to write the past events about Edie in the present tense, because Edie is so much a part of Maeve’s very being.
As the layers of the past peel back, and all is revealed about events and relationships, the reader understands just how far we are shaped by our memories and how we carry misunderstandings and guilt with us to affect our present and our future. But along with the loneliness and guilt Maeve experiences, Owl Song At Dawn also gives us gentle tenderness and joy so that when the tears were streaming down my face it was as much with the positive emotions of hope and love displayed as through sadness.
I loved them all, Steph and Len, Dot and Zenka, Vince and Dave, even Frank and Mr Roper, but especially Maeve and Edie. They became so real to me I dreamt about them and having I’ve finished the Owl Song At Dawn I miss them and wonder what will happen now.
I cannot recommend Owl Song At Dawn highly enough, even though every time I think about it I want to weep. It is beautiful, emotional and moving.