The book opens with Edith (Edie) Pinsent’s final day on Earth in 2017. Then Netta Wilde’s story takes over, two years later. She is now living in Edie’s old house, but was only allowed to buy it if she followed some rules previously set by Edie. Netta had to look after Edie’s dog Maud and clear out the house personally, sorting through Edie’s possessions and reading her journals.
The book goes between the two women’s stories, so some chapters are in Netta’s present day (2019) and others are from Edie’s perspective over the years. This is well done and means the reader learns about Edie the same time as Netta does, finding out her story from Edie’s old diaries. The chapters are clearly labelled with whose story it is and which year, so it is easy to understand what’s going on.
It was great to have the main character someone of my age – well, Netta’s 51 and I’m 52, but close enough. I do sometimes find it hard to relate to twenty-somethings in books, who are most worried about their make up running. She is divorced and has two grown up kids and has gone through some difficult times.
There are many wonderful characters in both parts of the story. Edie is so realistic, you will fall in love with her. I loved Dolly’s appearance in Netta’s story too, a really beautiful little cameo.
The dogs are great too. I’m a sucker for having some lovely pets in a novel and the dogs are quite often scene stealers in this one.
The book is so beautifully told and heart-warming, you will be rooting for both Edie and Netta and turning the pages to find out what happens to them. Edie’s story is especially involving, because it includes the Second World War and the 1950s and you really get a feel for the time, as well as the hardships and heartbreak those eras brought, especially for women.
Hazel Ward’s writing is sensitive, emotional and beautiful. She draws you in and you stay there with bated breath, following the characters as they journey along their paths.
9 out of 10
Finding Edith Pinsent
A moving story of love, loss and friendship that breaks and uplifts your heart.
Netta Wilde has a task to complete.
She’s agreed to go through the late Edith Pinsent’s diaries and possessions personally. The problem is, she’s been busy sorting out her own life. But she’s in a better place now. She’s free of her manipulative ex, has a new love in neighbour, Frank and has reunited with her kids.
What better time to begin Edie’s story?
But the path to discovery is not easy.
There are missing diaries to contend with, boxes of memories to uncover and revelations that turn everything on its head. Revelations that make Netta question if her own life really is sorted.
Delving deeper into Edith’s history, Netta is overtaken by a need to revisit her own past and put things right, but to do that she has to find the two people who once meant everything to her.
As her two challenges intertwine, Netta realises that Edith had a purpose for her. One that she must fulfil
Bit by bit, the house yields a lifetime of secrets and the real Edith Pinsent begins to emerge.
But will it be the Edith everyone thought they knew?
Author Bio –
Hazel Ward was born in inner city Birmingham. By the time the city council packed her family off to the suburbs, she was already something of a feral child who loved adventures. Swapping derelict houses and bomb pecks for green fields and gardens was a bit of a culture shock but she rose to the occasion and grew up loving outdoor spaces and animals.
Strangely, for someone who couldn’t sit still, she also developed a ferocious reading habit and a love of words. She wrote her first novel at fifteen, along with a lot of angsty poems, and was absolutely sure she wanted to be a writer. Sadly, it all came crashing down when her seventeen-year-old self walked out of school in a huff one day and was either too stubborn or too embarrassed to go back. It’s too long ago to remember which.
Against all odds, she somehow managed to blag her way into a successful corporate career until finally giving it all up to do the thing she’d always wanted to do. Shortly after, she began to write her debut novel Being Netta Wilde.
Hazel still lives in Birmingham and that’s where she does most of her writing, although she spends a lot of time in Shropshire or gadding about the country in an old motorhome. Not quite feral anymore but still up for adventures.
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