Attend by West Camel #BlogTour @OrendaBooks

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Attend by West Camel today as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Karen Sullivan for the invite.

About this book…

Under their feet lies magic…

When Sam falls in love with South London thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.

Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, the mysterious world that lies beneath their feet and, ultimately, the solution to their crises.

With echoes of Armistead Maupin and a hint of magic realism, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters that you will never forget.

My review…

I think this is probably the most difficult review that I’ve attempted to write this year so I’m glad that it’s the last! Attend has a beautiful cover that very cleverly draws you into a book that defies genre and will leave you breathless with the sheer beauty of the authors written words.

There is an ethereal magic brilliantly weaved with a gritty setting that transforms this rich tapestry of life into a unique debut novel for West Camel. The realism of the everyday experiences for Sam and Anne contrasted starkly with the spellbinding mystery surrounding Deborah. The flashbacks into her life were probably amongst my favourite moments of reading Attend as I found myself enchanted by this woman who had the power to transform the lives of those she chose to interact with.

Attend made the world around me disappear into the ether as it cast it spell over me. It’s an outstanding debut novel, moving and with a tenacious grip on the authenticity of its setting. Highly recommended for those searching for something unique and thought provoking to take them away from the real world for a few wonderfully intense hours.

Meet the author…

Born and bred in south London – and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name – West Camel worked as an editor in higher education and business before turning his attention to the arts and publishing. He has worked as a book and arts journalist, and was editor at Dalkey Archive Press, where he edited the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology, before moving to new press Orenda Books just after its launch. He currently combines his work as editor at Orenda Books with writing and editing a wide range of material for various arts organisations, including ghost-writing a New-Adult novel and editing The Riveter magazine for the European Literature Network. He has also written several short scripts, which have been produced in London’s fringe theatres, and was longlisted for the Old Vic’s 12 playwrights project. Attend is his first novel.

You can follow West on Twitter @west_camel


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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