My Dream of You – Book Review and Launch Day
It’s launch day for My Dream of You by D.J.Kirkby and I have been lucky enough to receive an e-review copy of the book as well as details of her very special launch day competition to share with you.
Crime of passion or cruel twist of fate?
One summer’s day Betty let love carry her a step too far. That exquisite sun dappled afternoon became one of her best memories but also the catalyst for the worst experience of her life. Now elderly, Betty has been running from her past since she was a teenager, and it’s about to catch up with her. Will the experience be as awful as she fears or wonderful beyond imagining?
Praise for MDOY:
“D.J. Kirkby writes with compassion and energy, creating characters you can really care about.” Sarah Salway (Canterbury Poet Laureate)
“Evocatively written, My Dream of You is an absorbing read filled with interesting characters, plot twists, and emotion.” Talli Roland, bestselling author of Build a Man
“A tale of motherhood, of hope and of love. Truly touching” Caroline Smailes, author of 99 Reasons Why
Denyse lives in the South of England in a house otherwise filled with males – husband, boys and pets – she writes to escape the testosterone.
She is the author of Without Alice, My Dream of You, and her book Special Deliveries which is currently with her agent.
My summary of my Goodreads review below is: I would recommend My Dream of You as an enjoyable story of young, fleeting but enduring love and motherhood (both positive and negative representations of it). You can purchase it from Amazon Kindle for £1.53 (sponsored link).
Now onto the competition:
On the 5th June (today) everyone who leaves a ‘pick me’ comment on the MDOY online launch party blog post, and / or shares the post from her Facebook author page and / or Tweets using the #MDOY hashtag making sure to copy @djkirkby in gets their name entered into a draw for the following prizes:
1. A Bothams of Whitby champagne afternoon tea hamper custom made for the My Dream of You launch party. The contents of hamper are:
Apricot & Orange Teabread
Butter Rice Madeira Cake
Butter Syrup Tea Biscuits
Apricot and Almond Jam 8oz
Resolution Tea Box 80 bags
Small wooden tray
750ml bottle of Fratelli Berlucchi (2006) Brut
A limited edition (signed) paperback copy of MDOY.
(unfortunately this prize open to UK entrants only due to complications with posting all the contents of this hamper to other countries)
2. One of five limited edition (signed) paperback copies of MDOY (open to worldwide entrants).
3. A character named after you in my next novel (open to worldwide entrants).
4. One of 15 MDOY fridge magnets (open to worldwide entrants).
Names can only be entered until midnight on June 5th (so hurry) and the winner will be announced on Denyse’s blog on Sunday June 11th.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was supplied an e-review copy of this book to help celebrate D.J.Kirkby’s publication launch day. This is a genre I don’t normally read much because I’ve mainly ben reading young adult series recently. What follows is my honest and spoilery review.
I read My Dream of You in about five hours across two sittings and I probably would have read it in one go if I didn’t have to get some sleep. This is a good thing because it means I was intrigued by the story and wanted to keep reading to find out what happened.
This is Betty’s story of her summer crush and a society and her mother not wanting to deal with the consequences. The story starts with Betty (now older and recently widowed from a man called Albie) still worried that what happened all those years ago will catch up with her. Quickly we travel back in time and are following Betty and her cousin Maggie’s adventures at the summer fair. We are caught up in her infatuation with Joe, their intimate encounter and the bereavement of her first loss when he leaves, without her being able to say goodbye. We are already given the clear impression that her mother Doris is not the caring type but how she deals with Betty’s pregnancy, is horrible. Now we are rooting for Betty to find a way out of the ‘workhouse’ she has been placed in and after she gives birth we long for her to find a way to keep her daughter Candy (Candida). Now of course that doesn’t happen, but Betty does find an escape to Woolly (the kindly old lady from the wool stall at the fair) where she meets her future husband Albie.
Back to the present and Betty’s past life rushes into her current one, first Maggie, then her daughter, now going by the name Dida and pregnant with her first child, and finally Joe.
Personally I would have liked to read a little more about the years in-between to get more of a sense of her relationship with Albie, I presume they didn’t have children but am interested to know how this was managed, because it seems she never told him about her past. I also felt there were a few unanswered questions about Doris and her trips to London and how she’d responded to Betty absconding. I wanted to understand more why she was so cruel.
I also have to admit to enjoying the historical episode more than the scenes in the future, I wonder if that was because I found it a little difficult to age Betty and also we switch to having the reunion between mother and daughter more from Dida’s point of view. It is really clear how much Betty has been affected by her difficult past and she constantly fears rejection from those in her past. I felt for her. The tagline asks crime of passion or cruel twist of fate and I would definitely say the latter, but clearly at the time of writing and probably even now young women are often vilified, at least by society, when in this situation.
D.J. Kirkby is a midwife and this is represented in the scenes around motherhood and pregnancy. It is clear, both from the dedications and the story that research into how young unwed mothers were treated was undertaken. The Matron who delivers baby Candy is as supportive to Betty as she is allowed to be (and more so), I really warmed to this character who gives Betty the baby blanket that helps her keep her daughter near despite her being taken away again when she wasn’t able to say goodbye.
I did find myself in tears a couple of times and this is not the first time Denyse has made me cry. I look forward to her forthcoming Special Deliveries nonfiction midwifery tales – do check out the Butterfly Babies story on her blog (but have a tissue handy). I also have Without Alice, Denyse’s first novel on my Kindle waiting to be read. I would recommend My Dream of You as an enjoyable story of young, fleeting but enduring love and motherhood (both positive and negative representations of it).