My enormous thanks to Rosie Margesson at Headline for inviting me to be part of the launch celebrations for The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon by Sarah Steele and for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review. I love to travel and in these mad times when travel is restricted, what could be better than a book that transports a reader to another place?
The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon will be published by Headline on 6th August 2020 and is available for pre-order through the links here.
The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon
To unravel that long-lost summer, she had to follow the thread…
Florence Connelly is broken hearted. Her marriage has collapsed under the weight of the loss she shares with her husband, and her beloved grandmother has just died. Even the joy she found in dressmaking is gone.
But things change when Flo opens a box of vintage 1960s dress patterns found inside her grandmother’s wardrobe. Inside each pattern packet is a fabric swatch, a postcard from Europe and a photograph of a mysterious young woman, Nancy Moon, wearing the hand-made dress.
Flo discovers that Nancy was a distant relation who took the boat train to Paris in 1962 and never returned. With no one to stay home for, Flo decides to follow Nancy’s thread. She unravels an untold story of love and loss in her family’s past. And begins to stitch the pieces of her own life back together.
My Review of The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon
Flo’s journey to find Nancy might just help her find herself.
I absolutely loved The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon. If you love fast paced horror or visceral crime, go elsewhere, but if you want a sensitive and mature exploration of the lives of two linked women, look no further. Sarah Steele’s premise of both literal and metaphorical threads that join Nancy and Florence is so effective and so beautifully executed that I found I was able to lose myself entirely in the dual timeline narrative and leave the cares of the world behind me. I loved the glamour, the dressmaking, the hardships, the relationships and the history. The only negative is that I now want to follow in both Nancy and Flo’s footsteps as they travel and current world events don’t allow it!
The settings are very vivid. From Brighton to Tuscany with stops along the way in places like Paris and Venice I found Sarah Steele wove the senses into her settings so effectively that The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon is a very visual and evocative read. Not only is there a clear sense of place, but time and era are conveyed gloriously too which gave me a feeling of nostalgia as I became utterly wound up in Nancy’s part of the story. I found there were touches of brilliant humour that had the effect of lifting my spirits and making me feel more positive about the world too.
Although there’s action in this meticulously crafted plot, with superb descriptions that give a real sense of place, it is Nancy and Flo’s characters that really drive the story so that I would have loved to know them both in real life. Both women are feisty, vulnerable and strong in a mix that feels completely authentic. The sense of history repeating itself through their lives, with the universal themes of love and family weaving through what happens to them is wonderfully heart warming and totally convincing.
The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon is completely wonderful. Rather like the literary version of a family heirloom quilt, it’s transporting in time and place, it’s warm, witty and uplifting and I loved it. Don’t let yourself miss this one!
About Sarah Steele
Sarah Steele was the director of Wordfest at Gloucester Cathedral in 2018, which culminated in a suffragette march led by Helen Pankhurst. After training in London as a classical pianist and violinist, Sarah joined the world of publishing as assistant at Hodder and Stoughton. She was for many years a freelance editor. She lives in Stroud. The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon is her debut novel.
You can follow Sarah on Twitter @sarah_l_steele.
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