Today I am so pleased to take part in the blog tour for The Last Village by Audla English.
About The Book
The majestic Souter Lighthouse stands proudly at the edge of the clifftop surrounded by open grassy empty fields and overlooking a vast blue wilderness. Anna Charles knows nothing of the life that her grandmother once had here. It wasn’t until an unexpected engagement, that Anna discovered the past of her Gran and the truth behind an enduring love.
Seventy years earlier, Lillian Smith, had been part of the close-knit community that once thrived in the village that existed next to the lighthouse. A chance meeting with a sailor one day, would change the course of her life forever.
A moving novel set in the North East of England. The Last Village is an enduring love story which spans the 1940’s and modern day, binding the generations.
I love stories that feature lighthouses so I was immediately drawn in by the cover of The Last Village. It shows the magnificent red and white Souter Lighthouse standing on the cliffs above a small mining village in the North East of England.
The story is based around two generations, both of which lived close to the lighthouse. Anna’s story takes place in 2017 as she meets the love of her life James and they prepare to marry. Other chapters then go way back to when Anna’s grandmother (Lily) was a child, and on to 1945 when she met her sweetheart Red.
I loved the descriptions of the coast with its hidden arch and whites steps down to the pub and the little train which was affectionately called ‘The Rattler’. The pub called The Beach Grotto provided welcome refreshments to the miners after finishing a long shift and children were told tales of how pirates met to hide their loot in the caves.
The comparisons between the two weddings, which were seventy years apart prompted some deep thinking about the true meaning of marriage. Friendship features heavily in both stories but the overriding theme was the unbreakable bond between a grandmother and her granddaughter.
This is a charming, touching and romantic story and clearly a dedication by the author to a village that sadly no longer remains. The historical references are well researched and I really enjoyed Lily’s story which was incredibly heartwarming. This is an easy, romantic read filled with nostalgia and set in an atmospheric location. A great debut!
Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for the tour invite. My review of the book is honest and unbiased.
About The Author
Audla English grew up in the North East of England.
Born in Sunderland, a graduate of Newcastle University and living in South Tyneside, she is passionate about this
wonderful region which acts as an inspiration to her writing.
Her award-winning debut novel ‘The Last Village’ is a dual time-line historical fiction and is written as a dedication to the now sadly demolished Old Marsden Village which was built by the Whitburn Coal Company in the 1870’s. The Marsden Rock coastal setting is also used to weave a family saga style narrative around a beautiful part of north east England.
The novel is a moving love story about the life of Lily, a young woman growing up with her friends in 1945 whereas the other side of the story, in 2017, is about Anna and her own discovery of her grandmother’s past life- it is a novel which spans and binds the generations through family and friendship.
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