Thursday, 20 September 2018

Book review : Petals and Stones - Joanne Burn

Having lost both her parents back in her student days, Uma has settled into married life with her husband Daniel. Just one page into the book, she receives an accidental text message to her husband from a woman. His woman on the side. In shock, Uma talks to him on the phone and he declares they will talk when he gets home. She mentally prepares herself for this shattering of her hopes and dreams, only to be interrupted by a policeman : Danny has had a fatal accident on the way home and they will never have the much-needed conversation.

The story then jumps back and forth, showing us what led up to this moment, including their previous half-truths and traumas. There was a very stressful moment when they first got together, when Uma had a traumatic medical reaction to an abortion and ended up back in hospital, being looked after by her old friend Aaron. 

Uma ends up taking off to a remote seaside cottage, where she takes time to go swimming in the chilly sea, cooks the Keralan dishes of her youth and switches off the phone, giving herself time to think without being constantly bombarded by her mother-in-law. Taking the time to grieve, and to connect with a new lover, things start looking up ... then someone from her past puts in a new appearance and everything gets complicated again.

Having lost my own husband a few months ago, I wasn't sure what I'd make of this novel, but Uma has a very definite backstory that inspires her to be strong. Finding a new way on with her in-laws is a tricky necessity and taking the time to focus on herself in the perfectly imperfect seaside cottage is an absolute necessity - luckily for me, I don't have one available, because, believe me, I'd be tempted to get away from it all for a while !

It's a well-written and well-constructed novel that deals thoughtfully and believably with some tricky personal dilemmas.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £8.99 (paperback), £4.99 (Ebook)

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press (6 Sept. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1787198162
  • ISBN-13: 978-1787198166
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm

Disclosure : I received a copy of the book in order to give my honest review.


  1. Sounds really good although sad

  2. Sounds good. I always appreciate reviews. Thank you.

  3. I read your review and have just ordered this on amazon, it sounds a good read xx

    1. Hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think :)


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