Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spotlight on Karenne Griffin novels - New Voices in the Valley and Beyond the Island

Polish-born Danuta escapes her violent husband and leaves Cardiff for good. But she only gets as far as Allt-yr-Coch, where she is offered a job in the village pub. It’s the prime venue for local rock bands. She soon forms the opinion that the people of the Welsh Valleys are mostly eccentric, mad about music, and have a language of their own. But Danuta is undaunted. Just as she starts to feel at home strange things begin to happen, and when Allt-yr-Coch hits the headlines everything changes.

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What people are saying:

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, well-written and Welsh

By Spice

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

New Voices in the Valley is a gem. From the enigmatic arrival of the Polish bombshell, Danuta, in a small Welsh town, to the discovery of a unexpected evil residing in the heart of the community, I was aware that this was going to be a book about real people living real lives. And what lives! Some of the residents of Allt-yr-Coch are quite outrageous! I was hugely entertained by Linda and Carole as I followed their impetuous escapades. I was rooting for Danuta in her search for love, and I loved the portrayal of the trend-setting, London band `Atonement'.

With several compelling storylines, and characters who you will care about, this is a very pleasing way to spend an afternoon or two, confident in the knowledge that you are in the hands of a fine storyteller. If you've never been to Wales, you'll learn a thing or two and if you have, you might be surprised at what goes on behind closed doors!


Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase

Quite a random bunch of characters find themselves thrown together in this tale. Some have known each others for years, then there are the newcomers. Things are not all that they seem in this unremarkable Welsh village. There is plenty of humour along with the drama. A recommended read.


Imagine Bridget Jones has an Australian cousin – that could easily be Robyn Trescowe. When Robyn visits England her father asks her to investigate their family tree. She hooks up with various relations and uncovers some amazing stuff. Robyn’s new job presents unexpected challenges, and she is attracted to a colleague’s flatmate. But Robyn’s sojourn in the UK is not all cocktails and cake, for her absence has its consequences …

What People are Saying

5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable

By Nicola

Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase

The Author of this book has a very descriptive and flowing writing style which allowed me to be easily transported into the scenes. This is a beautiful story of intertwined lives that involves enduring love, passion, family, friendship and bravery and it certainly covers the full spectrum of emotions. I especially found the double journey of the storyline to be really fascinating and extremely enjoyable. This is truly an absorbing story with characters you can easily warm to.
This book kept me reading until the early hours of the morning and I only begrudgingly put it down due to work commitments.
5.0 out of 5 stars

There is something about an island that has a magical pull; the title and cover for a start. Beyond the Island came up to all expectations. It does have a mystical element. At the beginning, I wondered if the quick change between past and present would detract from concentration, but I soon became used to this interesting way of writing. It works well and Karenne manages, seemingly effortlessly, to keep on top of both stories until they merge entirely into the present. The location descriptions are excellent; I could see the places and colours, as I read, also the main characters who quickly became real - and I loved the 'upbeat', often amusing, dialogue. Karenne leaves the novel open for a sequel which I hope she's working on at present as I much look forward to the continuation of a well formed and much enjoyable story.
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