May 18th, 2021 by Jane Turner
This review of Mrs Narwhal’s Diary by S.J. Norbury comes courtesy of a Blog Tour hosted by Damppebbles. Mrs Narwhal’s Diary was published by Louise Walters Books on 16 May 2021. I received a free copy of the ebook.
“It was Woman’s Hour who suggested I keep a diary. They said it was good for mental health, and I must say I did feel much less frazzled after writing everything down yesterday. The frustrations were all still there, but somehow smoothed out – as if by a really good steam iron.”
Mrs Narwhal is overwhelmed. Her husband, Hugh, is unkind and unhappy – working every hour at a job he hates to save the ancestral home he never wanted. Then there’s Hugh’s sister, Rose, who’s spurned her one true love, and ricochets from crisis to crisis; and not to mention two small boys to bring up safely in a house that could crumble around their ears at any moment…
When Hugh’s pride receives a fatal blow, and he walks out, Mrs Narwhal is plunged into a crisis of both heart and home. With help from Rose she sets out to save the house her husband couldn’t. But can she save her marriage? And does she really want Hugh back?
Funny, charming, and moving, Mrs Narwhal’s Diary is an irresistible story which will enchant and delight its readers.
I loved this – absolutely loved it! Mrs Narwhal is cheeky, irreverent, and totally captivating.
Our diary begins with commentary on the annual Narwhalian tradition of The Ringing – where the Narwhal clan gathers in the treehouse with a Scots piper and a bell to commemorate the death of the most recent patriarch. The Ringing is to be followed by a dinner of goose – again, tradition. But this year, 7 years after (the current) Hugh was handed the patriarchy, it’s all a little tense…
It’s important to note that the Narwhal’s are not aristocrats – their fortunes rose then died thanks to an excess of eccentricity. Now its a daily struggle to fund and maintain the expansive estate and grand house (complete with two 9-foot taxidermy polar bears). The treehouse is falling apart, as is the house itself, Hugh’s business is failing, the garden’s run amok, there’s junk in the lake, and everything is just so much a battle.
This is a story of familial pressures, of the rights of tradition to take over lives, and the challenges of being the progeny of a grand house. A story of love, loss, pragmatism, and how life can change in a heartbeat. And how familial obligations are what you make of them.
Mrs Narwhal writes with her tongue firmly in her cheek, putting on paper everything that society says she can’t say to faces. Mrs Narwhal’s Diary was a very great pleasure to read and had me giggling throughout with her descriptions on family life in a crumbling great house, her marital pressures, and her not-so-stiff upper lip. I can’t recommend this enough.
Ms Norbury is a debut author. I’m very, very sure this will not be her last novel.
Damn well done, Ms Norbury!
S J Norbury lives in Herefordshire with her family. Mrs Narwhal’s Diary is her first novel.
(Note: Some of these are affiliate links, meaning if you use one to purchase I receive a small commission. No pressure, the decision is yours!)
If you’d like me to review for you, GET IN TOUCH My reviews are posted on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Amazon.
Follow the rest of the Blog Tour!