AD | Gifted
Good morning and welcome to the first review of a three part series I was given the chance to read. Parts 2 and 3 will be live tomorrow and Thursday so make sure you look out for those too.
It’s 1965 and 18 year old Jess escapes her stifling English background for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. But it’s a time of political turbulence across the region. Fighting to keep her young love who she believes is waiting back in England, she’s thrown into the physical dangers of civil war, tragedy, and the emotional conflict of a disturbing new relationship. So why do the drumbeats haunt her dreams?
This is a rite of passage story which takes the reader hand in hand with Jess on her journey towards growing into the adult world.
I absolutely loved this book, and joining Jess on her trip to Africa. She is a likeable main character who wants to make a difference in the world, and break free from the strict conditions her family impose on her. Watching her transition to adulthood is fulfilling and inspiring. I found myself willing her on – keep trying to make a difference Jess, choose the right man Jess, are they really your friends Jess?
The setting is also a major part of the story and the author talks about it so vividly, you feel like you are there. Although this book is set in the sixties, it is upsetting to know that many of the issues that Ghana faced then are still going on today. I feel like the setting makes this book. Taking place anywhere else, I am not sure it would have the same magic.
A very uplifting, well written book which was difficult to put sown at times! I am really looking forward to the next one in the series and following Jess on her adventures in life.
Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then a university lecturer and researcher. Finding Jess (2018) is her sixth book and the last of the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins and ends in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.
Acclaimed author of:
Drumbeats (2015), the first of the trilogy set in 1960s Ghana: sometimes you have to escape to find yourself.
Walking in the Rain (2016), the second in the trilogy set in 1970s and 1980s England: never give up on your dreams.
Finding Jess (2018), the last of the trilogy set in 1990s England and Ghana: can the past ever be left behind?
Also by Julia Ibbotson:
A Shape on the Air (2017): historical (Dark Ages/early medieval) time-slip romance. Two women 1,500 years apart, with one aim: to reclaim their dreams and fight the dangers that threaten them both across the ages …
The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, (first published 2011, rereleased 2017) a feel-good story of the renovation of a Victorian rectory interwoven with period recipes to feed the soul, all from the rectory kitchen.
S.C.A.R.S (first published 2012, rereleased 2016) (children’s novel): a troubled boy slips through a tear in the fabric of the universe into a parallel medieval fantasy world of knights, dragons, and a quest for the triumph of Good over Evil. But can he save himself?
Social Media Links
Pinterest (includes boards with pics and images that inspired each book)
Win a copy of Drumbeats (book 1), book marks, post cards, key ring and handbag fob (UK only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Good luck with the giveaway, let me know if you enter in the comments below. Remember to look out for part two tomorrow.
Thankyou to Rachel’s Random Resources for including me on this blog tour. I received these books in return for my honest opinion. Check out other reviews at the blogs listed