Title: The Dandelion Years
Author: Erica James
Genre: Romance/ Family
Source: Charity Shop
My favourite quote; “where does the wind go when it’s not windy?”
A beautifully written, heartwarming story about a powerful devotion between a family, and a love that will last forever.
I don’t know what drew me to purchase this book, whether it was the relaxed font in the carefree summer background, or the brief description on the back which described the protagonist as a book restorer who comes across a hidden notebook full of secrets. Whatever was going through my head at the time of this selected choice, I’m glad for it.
I’ve read a lot of novels and I can honestly say I haven’t found one quite like this before. The story is told in two parts, Saskia, as our main protagonist, and the story of Jacob found within the hidden notebook.
Saskia is 30+ year old who currently lives in an unconventional case with her father and two grandfathers in Ashcombe cottage after a horrific incident that occurred when she was 10 that ripped her family apart. One day she comes across a notebook hidden within a bible, which was found amongst a few possessions from a probate collection her father is currently working on valuing at Glaskin House. The notebook is discovered to be a diary known as ‘the dandelion years’ of the late Jacob Belinsky, deceased owner of Glaskin House, which is told throughout the novel of Jacob’s life during WWII.
Glaskin House has been passed onto Matthew Gray, who is just as curious as Saskia to learn more about the private life Jacob lived, prior to the time before Matthew entered his life as the son of the housekeeper. He discovers alot more behind the confident, opinionated old professor than he ever thought possible and, with the help of Saskia, is able to find more of the story that was lost long ago.
It’s a novel about the bonds of family, friendship and romance tied in a lovely little bow that will keep you wanting more.
This is the first time I’ve picked up a novel from Erica James, and I can assure you it will not be the last. One of the many qualities I found her to be as an author, is that she really knows how to set a scene in her writing style;
“We both lay on our backs staring up at the limpid blue sky, the sun on our faces. Then crossing my hands behind my head, I closed my eyes. The air was still and warm and thrummed with insect noise, and the sound of birdsong. Far off into the distance I discerned a train whistle and then nothing at all as I slept. It was the most peaceful sleep I’d enjoyed in a long while, a deep sleep of sublime oblivion.”
A gorgeous tale of friendship and love from Sunday Times bestseller Erica James.
Ashcombe was the most beautiful house Saskia had ever seen as a little girl. A rambling pink cottage on the edge of the Suffolk village of Melbury Green, its enchanting garden provided a fairy-tale playground of seclusion, a perfect sanctuary to hide from the tragedy which shattered her childhood.
Now an adult, Saskia is still living at Ashcombe and as a book restorer devotes her days tending to the broken, battered books that find their way to her, daydreaming about the people who had once turned their pages. When she discovers a notebook carefully concealed in an old Bible – and realising someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to hide a story of their own – Saskia finds herself drawn into a heart-rending tale of wartime love…