Saturday, 13 October 2018

Book Birthday Blitz: Oh! What a Pavlova by Isabella May

Oh! What a Pavlova by Isabella May

Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.

Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.

Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.

And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…

But will she escape before it’s too late?

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I love the enticing cover, however, the saying goes, "never judge a book by its cover" and this rings true with Isabella May's d├ębut novel. I was expecting cake, lots of it, but the reality is a few crumbs.

Kate Clothier is a publishing executive and lives with Daniel whom she met whilst studying at university. Ten years later, they are involved in a long-term abusive relationship. She lives for and relishes the chance to escape her volatile home life as she travels around the world with her job. Will she ever find the courage to walk away from the man who's turned into a monster?

Perplexed by Kate's begrudging acceptance of Daniel behaviour, they're neither married, have children nor financially dependant on each other. So wondered why she stayed and put up with the domestic violence. She's constantly seeking out comfort and emotional support from her male business trip acquaintances even when these liaisons didn't always go according to plan. Her behaviour didn't make sense (to me). Maybe if the novel had hinted on what triggered Daniel's angry and aggressive outbursts and devoted more scenes with Kate and Daniel together, the reader may have understood their dynamics as a couple?

While the idea is fun and original, I didn't fully appreciate the references to cakes littered through the narrative because I didn't understand them. With a friend described as a “Coffee and Walnut Cake, the ultimate listener” and Daniel, “I thought he was a Black Forest Gateaux but he was Marble Cake through and through”, what did this mean? I found the author's writing style chaotic and difficult to follow, especially during the first few chapters. I constantly had to re-read passages to get the gist of what was going on because I felt bombarded by over descriptive text as well as the narrative flip flopping back and forth with inner thoughts and back story threaded in between. Some people will love the dizzy pace and constant drama. I, however, found it confusing and exhausting.

It's a little rushed, but there's a satisfying 'happy for now' ending for Kate as she begins a new chapter in her life, so all's well that ends well.

***arc generously received courtesy of Crooked Cat Books***

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing. As a co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One). She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’! Costa del Churros is her third novel with Crooked Cat Books, following on from the hit sensations, Oh! What a Pavlova and The Cocktail Bar.

Twitter - @IsabellaMayBks

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of The Cocktail Bar (Open Internationally)
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