Grab a mug of tea, get comfy…today is the start of a blog tour for the brilliant book, The Goose Road!
Yes that’s right hello!! It’s me, back with (yet another) blog tour, but today I’m spoiling you! Not only do you get my review, you also get a chance read a little extract of The Goose Road by Rowena House!
Not enough? Okay, how about A GIVEAWAY!!!!
Yep, you got it! I am giving you the chance to win one of 2 copies of The Goose Road! The Giveaway is UK only (sorry guys!) but more on that later.
Big thanks to Jo who send me my copy of The Goose Road and is letting me have 2 winners!
First up I’ll give you the extract (cause I’m nice like that), and I hope it’ll entice you to want to read more and enter the giveaway!!
I’m turning hay in the top meadow when I hear the squeak of rusty wheels and look up to see Monsieur Nicolas, the postman, pedalling up the lane. I stiffen, suddenly afraid that I know the reason why he’s here.
Please, God, let it not be Pascal.
Soft summer sounds surround me now that I’m still. Grasshoppers. Distant birds. The eternal hum of bees. The creaking of the bicycle is like some infernal machine, let loose in the Garden of Eden.
Please, God, not my brother, Pascal.
I think about that other August day two years ago, when the jangling of church bells shattered the peace of the valley. Pascal and I dropped our pitchforks and ran to the village square just in time to hear the mayor announce, “Men of France! To arms!”
Father left straightaway, but Pascal stayed long enough to show me how to gather the harvest, how to scythe and how to plough. I was twelve years old and so excited. Now my hands are calloused and my back aches like an old woman’s.
Monsieur Nicolas clatters slowly past the orchard, waking the geese. They flap and hiss as they waddle towards the fence. Mother appears at the kitchen door, wiping her hands on her apron. Her back is very straight.
Monsieur Nicolas clambers awkwardly off the saddle and pushes his bicycle up the hill towards our gate. I hold my breath. My legs shake. My vision blurs with tears.
Please, God. Not Pascal.
Monsieur Nicolas stops again. He rests his bike against our fence. The geese clamour and shriek as he opens the gate to our yard. Stifling a cry, I pick up my skirts and run.
It’s Father, Mort pour la France on some distant battlefield. The letter telling us is crushed in Mother’s hand. I bow my head and make the sign of the cross, then ask, “Who’s the letter from? May I read it?”
She turns hollow eyes on me. “It’s from your brother, my angel.”
“Pascal! Is he safe? Is he well? Oh, Maman, does he say when he’s coming home?”
Relief bubbles inside me. I’m torn between laughter and tears. But when I reach out for the letter, Mother’s knuckles whiten as she tightens her grip on it.
“Your father is dead, Angélique. Have you no feelings at all?”
I hang my head, the pain in her voice cutting through me. For her sake, I try to remember something nice about him. One small thing. But I can’t. All I recall are his fists and his belt and his leather razor strop. Pascal got the worst of it, but sometimes late at night I’d hear Mother whimpering too.
“Well?” she asks, sounding weary now rather than angry.
My gaze remains fixed on the earthen floor and the dust-flecked shaft of sunlight falling across it while the ticking of the kitchen clock grows louder between us.
Am I wicked, I wonder, a heartless, unforgivable child because I’m not sad he’s dead?
I try to squeeze out a tear, but inside my head I can hear the thwack, thwack, thwack of his drunken anger, and Pascal’s sobs as he rushed up to his room, and Mother’s muffled voice through his closed door, hushing him, telling him not to fuss.
“I am sorry,” I say at last. “Are you?” I give a tiny shrug. “For you, yes.” She sighs, then turns her back on me and takes her
apron off. “See to the animals,” she says, “then come in to change.
We’ll go to Mass this evening.”
I was utterly enchanted by The Goose Road, perhaps because I really like books set in wartime/in the past, or pehaphs because I really fell in love with the characters in The Goose Road especially René and Angélique!
Now if you know me, I’m strictly against doing spoiler reviews (unless stated) and that is still the case here, as I want you to be urged into reading this book with the sheer knowledge that Rowena has a fantastic writing style, her prose and the way she writes is stunning. I was captivated from the first page and read the book in two sittings (I had to sleep).
I am also struggling to believe that this is her debut as she is a wonderful story teller! I truly felt like I was Angélique keeping the family farm running and travelling across France. And another thing I adored, wait, LOVED, was that it was set in World War One, something (correct me if I’m wrong) is severly lacking in children’s literature? And with this year being the centinary of the end of the First World War I feel as though we will have a fair few more WW1 books being released. I just hope they are all as wonderful as Rowena’s.
I mean if you skipped everything just for the giveaway then you must have amazing taste.
The rules are simple for this giveaway.
Number 1: Follow my Twitter, this will be where you are contacted by me to say you have won.
Number 2: Retweet my giveaway tweet (it will be pinned to my page)
Number 3: Must be living in the UK
Number 4: BONUS ENTRY! Comment below with a book recommendation!
If any of this has tempted you to pick up the book you can check it out below, The Goose Road publishes 5th April 2018 and is available anywhere you buy your books:
May the odds be ever in your favour