Happy publication day to ‘A Posy of Promises’ by Sharon Dempsey! Today I have the pleasure of reviewing the book as part of the blog blitz. Big thank you to Bombshell Books for the ARC.
What does TWG think? I am incredibly torn with my opinion of ‘A Posy of Promises’ as, whilst there was a lot of the book I thoroughly enjoyed, there were a couple of parts which didn’t shine as brightly as the others.
Ava Connors is the type of person I would regard as having a ‘safe personality’. Instead of going out of her comfort zone, she makes her decisions based on reliability and safety aspect of it. For example, Niamh (Ava’s best friend) would drop everything without thinking about the logistics, just so that she could to go to a different country, whereas Ava would spend weeks deliberating the decision. Both personalities are fine and each to their own, but Ava refuses to let her guard down and get swept away by something daring or different, including in her relationship with long-term boyfriend, Finlay. For Ava the relationship is safe, just right, and plain sailing. For Finlay however, he believes that Ava is holding a part of herself back, refusing to make a commitment to him and the relationship in fear of not being in control should it all go wrong. I guess you can see her logic, but then I guess you can also see where Finlay is coming from.
With Ava being the way that she is, it has meant that she has stayed in the town that she group in, not having the urge to fly her wings – unlike her mother that is. There are a lot of skeletons that come out of the closet as the story progresses, especially where Ava and her family are concerned. But, the thing I struggled with the most was the way the storyline went off on a tangent when in the middle of explaining something else, completely changing the direction of the story and making me feel as though I was reading several parts from several different books. It felt a little too mismatched for me, so when I could tell the storyline was going to become deep and meaningful, the mismatch vibe took me away from that emotion, focusing my attention on something else.
I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy the book, because I did – it was a gentle and cosy read which gave me a lot of food for thought. I just would have preferred the storyline to be a bit more consistent.
I think the definition of the word ‘entitlement’ is rife throughout the book, and not in a bad way! ‘A Posy of Promises’ highlighted the fact that, just because you’re linked by blood, it can mean diddly squat unless you’re actually there in person. If you don’t make the effort or you walk off when the going gets tough, how can you be entitled to just slot back into the family as though you had never left?
I really liked Ava as she stuck to her guns and stayed true to herself. Just because others thought she was ‘boring’, it doesn’t mean that she actually was boring, she was just used to doing things in a certain way. I think the author has done a fantastic job in bringing the truth about different personalities to the heart of the book.
About the author.
A Posy of Promises is Sharon Dempsey’s first contemporary women’s fiction novel.
Sharon is a Belfast based writer of fiction and non-fiction books, with four health books published. He crime debut Little Bird was released July 2017 with Bloodhound Books.
She facilitates therapeutic creative writing classes for people affected by cancer and other health challenges, and runs a creative writing group for young people, called Young Scribblers, at the Crescent Arts Centre. She is a creative writing tutor at Queen’s University and Stranmillis College. Sharon studied Politics and English at Queen’s University, and undertook a newspaper journalism post grad at City University, London. She has written for a variety of publications and newspapers, including the Irish Times.
Sharon is working on the follow up to Little Bird and a collection of dark short stories.