Twins of a Gazelle ~ An Ionian Affair by Margaret Cullingford #FridayReads @CullingfordMags #BookReview

Fifteen months married to Adam Burgess, Calista Blake suspects she has chosen the wrong man. She looks forward to their holiday on the Greek island of Ithaca, hoping its magic will banish her disenchantment.

Calista Blake had no notion her affair would lead to marriage. She hadn’t wanted Adam to leave his wife but, carried away by the excitement and mystery of their relationship, here she was, married to Adam. The realisation she didn’t really know him at all left her disillusioned and confused. Once upon a time she was the other woman, has she now created an opening for someone else to fill? Adam spends a lot of time in London, leaving Calista, lonely and uneasy, rattling around their Leicestershire home with spaniel, Beppo. Luckily she has her career as a lawyer to occupy her.

Adam is demanding, overbearing and can be ruthless in his assumptions regarding those who are supposedly his nearest and dearest. His two teenage daughters’ wishes are overridden, Adam believing he knows what’s best. In fact, Calista wonders if she’s a convenient step mother, since Adam didn’t want his ex-wife to take the girls to America. It certainly seems she’s not wrong, Adam is leading a totally less than honest life.

Calista rested her head on his shoulder. She was nearly twenty nine when he met her. Lucky she stuck with him as long as she did. She wouldn’t understand his need to unwind with Sheena. He looked on it as a cabbalistic ritual, whether performed privately in a hotel room, or at one of Sonja’s renowned soirees. One thing for sure, Cal, like Annabel, must never find out.

A holiday on the beautiful and magical Greek island of Ithaca becomes the catalyst and prompts a change in Calista’s life and expectations when she meets PJ Wood, a roving photographer whose job can take him to trouble spots. Although he is honest and not at all like Adam, his job makes him unreliable but in a different way. One that he can’t really help.

The beauty of the island is described in sumptuous detail giving a vivid sense of place. Calista is a bit of an enigma, on one hand a confident career woman, on the other perhaps too trusting when it comes to her husband and his activities. Nevertheless, she’s a likeable and well defined character.

Calista’s story intertwines with that of her close friends from university, Mike and Tess. On the surface it seems the friends have it all, but as the story evolves the undercurrents become apparent. Almost without realising, I became involved and wanted to know how each of their stories would play out. The characters were realistic and complex, so opinions and feelings about them changed from situation to situation, some of which were on the darker side. Their development was unmistakable, however, even Adam was vindicated slightly.

I chose to read and review Twins of a Gazelle based on a copy of the book supplied by the author/publisher.

Book links ~ Amazon UK || Amazon US

About Margaret Cullingford

Margaret Cullingford, Mags to her friends, lives in Leicestershire, England with her partner and a temperamental tortoiseshell cat. Having made a timely escape from the rumpus of a university department, Mags realized a long-term ambition to write fiction, and in the process discovered, to her delight, she could create uproar she was able to control.
Mags published her debut novel Last Bite of the Cherry (paperback and eBook) in 2012. Twins of a Gazelle is her second, and whilst she could not claim either novel is ‘romantic’, both have a similar theme – clever woman, emotionally naïve, initially makes disastrous choice of man before meeting ‘The One’. Not the conventional Girl-Meets-Boy love stories, but about love nevertheless, romance with edge.
Margaret Cullingford, along with June Kearns, Lizzie Lamb and Adrienne Vaughan, is a member of the indie publishing collaboration, New Romantics Press.

Social media links ~ Facebook || Twitter || New Romantics Press

12 thoughts on “Twins of a Gazelle ~ An Ionian Affair by Margaret Cullingford #FridayReads @CullingfordMags #BookReview

  1. Mags is a fine writer, with a wonderful way of evoking time and place. In this novel, it’s Ithaca – sights, smells, tastes and colours are all beautifully described.
    She describes herself as having ‘edge’. I’m looking forward to her next ‘edgy’ book.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the dreamy cover of Mag’s second novel, Twins of a Gazelle, although some of the characters in it are far from dreamy. I loved PJ Wood but could see also see why Calista was conflicted, drawn to her husband who was a less appealing characters. As always, Cathy, a wonderful review.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I fell in love with PJ Wood when reading this fabulous novel, and Ithaca is so well depicted it made me want to visit. Lovely review for a lovely book 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Heartfelt thanks, Cathy, for your perceptive review. I am delighted you came to understand my characters so well. Calista, Adam, and Esther and Mike too ‘have it all’. Why should we care about what happens to them? Their dilemmas, the situations they find themselves in are, for the most part, of their own making. To quote PJ quoting Solon, “call no man happy . . . At best he is fortunate”. But, we ‘ve all been there, for whatever reason, character deficiency, gullibility, sheer cussedness. May be we can identify with that. And no one ever buck’s Fate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful review of Mag’s fantastic, thought provoking novel. Mags writes so beautifully her descriptions vividly took this reader anywhere and everywhere she led me. I too fell for PJ and was rooting for Calista to let go of ‘it all’ and fall madly in love but the complexity of the characters was so well drawn they and their dilemmas felt very real. I’m really looking forward to her next novel. X

    Liked by 1 person

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