October 20th, 2020 by Jane Turner
This review of The Nesting by C.J. Cooke comes as part of a Blog Tour by Random Things. I received a free copy of the hardback. The Nesting was published in hardback, audio and eBook on 15 October 2020 by HarperCollins.
The grieving widower. The motherless daughters. A beautiful house in the woods. And a nanny come to save the day….
So what if Lexi isn’t telling the truth about who she is? Escaping to the remote snows of Norway was her lifeline. And all she wanted was to be a part of their lives.
But soon, isolated in that cold, creaking house in the middle of ancient, whispering woods, Lexi’s fairy tale starts to turn into a nightmare.
With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi’s fears are deepening. Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care.
But protect them from what?
(Trigger warning: depression, suicide)
Wow. This one is a proper Gothic rollercoaster! And the cover art is STUNNINGLY beautiful with it’s metallic blues and silver. Just makes you want to open it up and start reading…
Merging scary Norwegian folk tales, a little Scandi-Noir and a dash of identity theft, The Nesting by C.J. Cooke is a wild journey indeed.
Ms Cooke is an excellent writer. Well, she’s got the background – she’s currently Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. And it was an absolute pleasure to read this work from such a talented local author.
The plot moves apace, the cast of characters is well-fleshed and believable, the language evocative and atmospheric – easily promoting the ‘feeling’ of Norway’s fjords. The story entwines the Norwegian fairy tale characters very well indeed, and they too are highly believable. Even the minor characters are fantastic; I love Dag and Erik.
The Nesting begins as a fish out of water tale about a suicidally depressed young woman who overhears an opportunity on a train, steals a CV and heads off to Norway as nanny for two young girls who’ve recently lost their mother. Lexi’s depression is realistic and hit home with me (even taking the toaster, which I think was a brilliant touch!). On arrival, the book expands to include other character plots. Some of these aren’t really resolved, but the book leaves you with satisfaction and just a little envy.
The only negative would be Lexi’s mum – I found her bit a little jarring. Do let me know what you think.
That doesn’t detract from the enjoyment I got from reading this. Start to finish, I was enthralled and HAD to find out what happens next. Surely the sign of an amazing book!
Well done, Ms Cooke!!
C.J. Cooke is an acclaimed, award-winning poet, novelist and academic with numerous other publications under the name of Carolyn Jess-Cooke.
Born in Belfast, she has a PhD in Literature from Queen’s University, Belfast, and is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she researches creative writing interventions for mental health. She also founded the Stay-At-Home Festival.
C.J. Cooke lives in Glasgow with her husband and four children.
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