And so this is my story. I will make it something after my own heart, tender and dark, a little candlelight novel, started this late summer night as my baby daughter sleeps in the big bed in the corner, and my sister Kate leans thoughtful and sleepless against the railing of the dark verandah outside…
Sophie is a single mother intent on loving her child and making a life for them both. Her family consists of her baby, Hetty, her younger sister Kate, and Lil, the woman who had taken Sophie and Kate in after they were abandoned by their parents. As Sophie’s world expands, she makes new friends and acquaintances and grows in new directions.
Following on from Horniman’s earlier novel, Secret Scribbled Notebooks, told by Kate, Sophie’s story is not so much a sequel as it is a companion to the earlier book, but can equally be read on its own. The events of the novel are sequential, but whilst the plot is absorbing, the beauty of the story lies in Sophie’s honest first person narrative. She is introspective, innocent and unassuming, learning to live and love as she raises her daughter, attends university and spends time with her new friends.
This is a beautiful read, the sort of book that you wish would never end.
My Candlelight Novel, by Joanne Horniman
Allen & Unwin, 2008
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