Monday, September 1, 2014

Making Marion by Beth Moran

This is a delightful novel. It is an excellent debut effort.

Marion travels to Sherwood Forest to find out her father's mysterious past. He died when she was seven and her dysfunctional and distant mother is no help. All she has is a photo of him taking part in a Robin Hood reenactment.

When Marion lands at the Peace and Pigs campsite, looking for a place to stay, she is mistaken for another and set to work at the registration desk. She lands a job with the big-hearted and gregarious camp owner, Scarlett. But when she begins to ask questions about the photo from the past, her life is threatened. She finds out her father was like a brother to a young man who died under mysterious circumstances. That's when her father left the area and changed his name. Marion is bent on finding the truth, even if it means death to the ideal of a loving and gentle father.

I really liked this novel. Marion is a young woman who was traumatized by her father's death and her mother's subsequent accusations that it was all Marion's fault. If her words killed him, Marion thought, then she would not speak. And she didn't for years. How she came to speak again is a great part of the story.

Being at the Peace and Pigs campground is a sort of coming of age experience for Marion. She finds out who she is, in both uncovering her father's past and in revealing character qualities she never knew she had. It was just a delight to see Marion become the woman she was meant to be. And the possibility of romance? Well, that was just an added joy.

There are serious times in the book and there are funny ones. There are sad times and times to celebrate. There are quirky characters and there are tender ones. All of it is wrapped together in a writing style that is superb. The characters are well developed, the scenes well described, and the story line well thought out. I will certainly be looking for more from this excellent author.

This book is from England and there is the usual differences in language. I mean, caravans for staying in? Also, the Christianity is a little different than we are used to in the U.S. Nonetheless, the book was so well written it was a delight to read.

Beth Moran lives in Nottingham with her husband and three children. When not writing, she helps with a national woman's network.

Lion Fiction, distributed by Kregel Publications, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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