I am delighted to share my review today for The Unravelling by Polly Crosby. I read this book a while ago and loved it, the publication day was delayed and so now this gorgeous story is now available for purchase.
Tartelin has been employed by Marianne Stourbridge to hunt for butterflies, but she quickly uncovers something far more intriguing. The island and Marianne share a remarkable past, and what happened all those years ago has left its scars.
The island has a strange effect on Tartelin, too, finally allowing her to confront her own, painful, memories. As she does, Marianne’s story begins to unravel around her, revealing an extraordinary tale of two girls, an obsession with pearls, and a truth beyond imagination.
Atmospheric and deeply emotional, The Unravelling is a captivating novel about the secrets we can only discover when we dare to look beneath the surface.
The Unravelling is such a great read, it has the haunting atmospheric feel that the synopsis mentions. The story is based on a small island, Dohhalund and only one house is inhabited, Dogger House. This island and house have been in the ownership of the Stourbridge family for generations. Marianne is the current resident, she has employed Tartelin to help her with her work documenting the changes don’t the island and of the butterflies.
Once a community of herring workers worked here, and the family also used to collect the pearls from the oysters. They then moved into the silk business. It is the silk that occupied a young Marianne’s time as she cared for the silkworms.
The story alternates between timelines and tells the life of a young Marianne and the people in her life at the time. What happened years ago and why was the island taken over by the military in 1955. This is something that nags a Tartelin’s conscience. As does the mystery of why a wheelchair-bound Marianne has returned after all these years.
This is really a stunning story that almost has an ethereal feel to it, the memories and events of the past just sit out of sight of Tartelin and she must indeed unravel the mysteries of the previous decades. Marianne is not forthcoming with information, but there are hints and clues. Marianne is not the only one to return to the island, there are visitors such as birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
This is one of those stories that I was able to completely lose myself in. The story and the characters flitted back, forth and around like the butterflies. There is a gentle ebb and flow to the story which is reminiscent of the tide as one thing is solved for another to take its place.
As Tartelin discovers more about the island and of Marianne she starts to see changes in herself, she is taking more risks and is coming into her own. For me, she was very much like a butterfly as it transforms.
This is a gorgeously written story, atmospheric and hauntingly beautiful. Captivating and totally immersive. It is one for those that like delving into mysteries of the past, to discover more about a family and to discover the secrets.
This is a book I would definitely recommend.
Many thanks for reading my review, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx