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A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood - Review

Friday, July 20, 2018


Where did I get it? I got a free proof copy at the Northern YA Lit Festival in March


What's it about? It is set in 1929 in Cornwall. Lou, the second eldest in a large family, spends her days, at the beginning of the book, trespassing on the island just across the causeway from her village, in the Cardew House. There's no one there, so Lou spends her days eating apples and reading books in the huge library. 

But then she's caught. The Cardews are back. There's dashing Robert, heir to the Lordship title, and his sister Caitlin. Lou's family life is a little in turmoil. Her sister Alice is getting married, and Lou feels like marriage and children is the path she's destined for too, even though she doesn't necessarily want that. She likes to write - she writes romance stories. So escaping to the island is something she needs, but when the Cardews turn up she can't imagine how she'll fit into their moneyed, privileged world. But she ends up spending the summer with the siblings and their friends, seeing a glimpse into a life she'll never have.

I had seen this book touted as being a bit like the Great Gatsby, which I guess I kind of see, because there's a big house and rich people and a lot of fabulous parties and more fabulous dresses. I guess I can see those comparisons but they're quite superficial.

What age range is it for? 13+, probably. There are a few heavier themes but they're not
mentioned in great detail.

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No 

Are any main characters people of colour? There is a person of colour, although not a main character, but I have to say that I thought this subplot was handled fairly poorly 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Not really? 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Not really

Is there any talk of death? A little, I guess some of it could be triggering.

Are there swear words? No 

What criticisms do I have? I'm not entirely sure where to begin. I didn't like this book very much. It isn't written badly, but I found it very superficial. I didn't like Lou very much, I thought she made stupid decisions. I liked Caitlin and Robert, but I didn't understand why Lou was so into Robert. I don't think we saw enough of Lou's family to understand why she felt the way she did; I felt like Alice was quite patronising towards her at times. I didn't feel like some things were explained enough. I'd also seen it described as a romance when there's very little actual romance in it. I don't know. Not my cup of tea 

Would I recommend the book? Most likely not

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I'd heard good buzz about it 

What other books is it like? None that it's better than, for sure. 

How many stars? Two and a half out of five.

Where is the book going now? I'll probably trade it if I'm honest!


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