Monday, September 27, 2021

The Moon, The Stars, and Madame Burova by Ruth Hogan

About the book

From the wildly popular bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things—an uplifting, slightly magical story about how it’s never too late to find out who you really are.  

Madame Burova—beloved Tarot reader, palmist, and clairvoyant—is retiring and leaving her booth on the Brighton seafront. 

After inheriting her mother’s fortune-telling business as a young woman, Imelda Burova has spent her life on the Brighton pier practicing her trade. She and her trusty pack of Tarot cards have seen the lovers and the liars, the angels and the devils, the dreamers and the fools. Now, after a lifetime of keeping other people’s secrets, Madam Burova is ready to have a little piece of life for herself. But she still has one last thing to do—to fulfill a promise made in the 1970s, when she and her girlfriends were carefree, with their whole lives still before them. 

In London, it is time for another woman to make a fresh start. Billie has lost her university job, her marriage, and her place in the world when a sudden and unlikely discovery leaves her very identity in question. Determined to find answers, she must follow a trail…which leads to Brighton, the pier, and directly to Madame Burova’s door. 

In a story spanning over fifty years, Ruth Hogan has conjured a magical world of 1970s holiday camps and seaside entertainers, eccentrics, heroes and villains, the lost and the found. Young people will make careless choices which echo down the years….but it’s never too late to put things right. 

My Thoughts

 This book was an absolute delight to read. As soon as I heard it was a book about a beloved woman that reads palms, tarot card and is clairvoyant...I knew I needed to read it! I mean just look at that cover!

I am a big fan of dual time lines and this did a fantastic job of taking us from the 1970s and then to the present time.

1970's - a baby is found on the steps of Madame Burova's booth on the Brighton seafront...abandoned by her mother...

Flash forward to present time...Sadly Billie's parents have passed away...with a secret they have kept all those years...Billie is the baby found on the pier...yet she didn't know it...what?! So many questions!

As Billie searches for answers to her past...Madame Burova may just hold the key...except she is holding that secret close to her heart.

This was a very well spun mystery. I didn't know exactly how it would  pan out until the very end. The characters were quirky and likable.

I loved the journey we took with Billie and I loved the ending!! Extra points for all the dogs!!

Thank you Partner  Bibliolifestyle and William Morrow for this gorgeous gifted copy!! It was an absolute pleasure to read.

About the author

I was born in the house where my parents still live in Bedford: my sister was so pleased to have a sibling that she threw a thrupenny bit at me. As a child I read everything I could lay my hands on: The Moomintrolls, A Hundred Million Francs, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the back of cereal packets and gravestones. I was mad about dogs and horses, but didn't like daddy-long-legs or sugar in my tea.

I studied English and Drama at Goldsmiths College which was brilliant, but then I came home and got a 'proper' job. I worked for ten years in a senior local government position (I was definitely a square peg in a round hole, but it paid the bills and mortgage) before a car accident left me unable to work full-time and convinced me to start writing seriously. It was going well, but then in 2012 I got cancer, which was bloody inconvenient but precipitated an exciting hair journey from bald to a peroxide blonde Annie Lennox crop. When chemo kept me up all night I passed the time writing and the eventual result was The Keeper of Lost Things.

I live in a chaotic Victorian house with an assortment of rescue dogs and my long-suffering partner (who has very recently become my husband - so I can't be that bad!) I am a magpie, always collecting treasures, and a huge John Betjeman fan. My favourite word is 'antimacassar' and I still like reading gravestones.


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