- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Black & White Publishing (15 Nov 2011)
- Language English
- ISBN-10: 1845023668
- ISBN-13: 978-1845023669
Eilidh Lawson’s life has hit crisis point. Years of failed fertility treatments, a cheating husband and an oppressive family have pushed her to the limit. Desperate for relief, Eilidh seeks solace in the only place she’s ever felt at home – a small village in the Scottish Highlands. There, Eilidh slowly begins to mend her broken heart but soon learns she is not the only one in the village struggling to recover from a painful past.
Jamie McAnena, Eilidh’s childhood friend, is trying to raise his daughter Maisie alone. After Maisie’s mother left to pursue a career in London and Jamie’s own mother, Elizabeth, passed away, he has resigned himself to being a family of two.
But sometimes there is more to a story than meets the eye. Despite their reluctance, curious circumstances keep bringing Jamie and Eilidh together. For even when it seems all is lost, help can come from the most surprising places.
Watch Over Me is a debut novel from author Daniela Sacerdoti.
The prologue is so beautifully written and hooks the reader in. I wanted to find out the events leading to the spring night in the woods as well as what exactly happened that night – who was narrating? Why were they in the woods?
We begin our journey with Eilidh narrating. We find out the poignant sadness of her infertility, her passion for children, her sense of failure … you feel everything Eilidh feels, really getting under her skin. Not only does she feel a failure in her personal life but she feels like an outsider in her own family who I felt didn’t know her at all.
Next, we find out from Jamie about his life – his relationship with Janet who was all consumed by her art and appeared quite depressed about being pregnant. Such a juxtaposition to the path Eilidh’s life had taken her!
These two chapters set the scene for their emotional barriers, their vulnerability and hiding from life. Then along comes another element to the story and one that stays throughout the journey. This is unusual, has a vital part to play in their journey to wholeness and so beautifully written. This is the ‘little bit ofhelp from beyond the grave.’
What follows is the dance of healing and vulnerability while being a part of a small community that has some colourful characters and strong blood ties back through time.
Daniela Sacerdoti’s writing is fluid and beautiful. Eilidh and Jamie alternate with a first person narrative and this enables the reader to identify with and become immersed in their journey. Tension comes from two major incidents as well as friction between characters. I loved Shona (Jamie’s sister) and Silke (gallery owner) and who wouldn’t fall in love with Maisie – all that energy and sparkle!
Of course I enjoyed the spiritual aspect to the story but Ialso have two favourite parts – one has to be over the Christmas and Hogmanay period. It was good to see Eilidh’s friends Harry and Doug from Southport a part of her life in Glen Avich. The other is the scene in hospital with Tom. It was good that the author included a balanced view. The acceptance and finality had me in tears.
My only complaint is that I was hoping for something awful to happen to Katrina (Eilidh’s sister). This isn’t as awful as it sounds – honestly! I was hoping that Katrina would realise the effect she has on others! She is only a character on the periphery (although has a major effect on Eilidh).
Watch Over Me is a poignant love story with a background of family and belonging – the positive and the negative. It’s about the vulnerability of feelings and the power we give away to others … and surrendering ourselves to fate, but have you ever thought about who it is controlling fate?
A perfect read for Yule season, I am giving Watch Over Me the following rating: