Review:The Herbalist by Niamh Boyce
Can I trust you? I can be honest with you? Okay( deep breath) I was a bit afraid of reading The Herbalist by Niamh Boyce.
Phew, I’ve said it but carry on reading as this review starts a bit strangely but ends on a high! Whoopee! the kind of reviews we all love!
It’s all the hype around it. Niamh seems to be everywhere and on every TV channel, radio station and in all good book shops. So, forgive me if I got a bit worried when Penguin Ireland sent me on the book to review.
However, the book is rather excellent and extremely readable. Again, that is hard to say for me as books that come with hype and a controversial theme, like the one in The Herbalist are sometimes just no better than that controversy,
The Herbalist lives up to the hype. It is narrated from three very different female characters in the 1930s and it kicks off with the arrival of a tall, dark and handsome stranger who sets up stall in Athy. i see the town of Athy as Niamh hails from around there so I think she may have had some of the town of Athy in her mind when she wrote this.
It has a beautiful, touchy-feely cover and it intrigued many of my friends when I took it out!
The pace is really good, the characters well rounded and I empathised with all three and their issues. The drama keeps up right till the end and that is a very satisfying conclusion. It is a snuggle up type of book written with the brain in mind too! I didn’t want to like it because of my aversion or hyped up things( Harry Potter fans, I am aiming this at you!) and historical fiction. But, Niamh has done a fine and admirable job and I hope she writes more and more as I will be reading them.
The Herbalist is available from Penguin Ireland and/or good bookshops that may hype it up but it deserves it!