Sue Eckstein's debut novel, The Cloths of Heaven, is a treasure.
The scented evenings, heavily weighted with West African heat, seemed to rise from the pages as I read. I felt as if I was curled up on a cushion, watching but unseen, as the plot unfolded like many layers of delicate, luxurious fabric. At times I found myself holding my breath as I read.
The characters are unexpectedly real. Everyone has met personalities like these in their own lives and I found that this familiarity drew me deep into the novel. At times I felt an inkling of what it must feel like to be a stalker; that urge to vicariously experience more of another's life, the reluctance to be parted from them. I felt a slight sense of grief as the novel ended simply because it finished so perfectly and, I wanted to spend more time in their world.
I particularly liked the fact that Sue wrote short chapters and these allowed me to move along the book at a steady pace, picking up different characters viewpoints as the story progresses and blending what I knew from previous pages with what the next character believed to be the truth.
The Cloths of Heaven mimics real life effortlessly, recounting it with maximum impact packed full of vivid imagery, scents and palpable emotions.
For a more traditional review you can follow this link to Caroline Smaile's blog or this one to Bookersatz.
The Cloths of Heaven is published by Myriad Editions.
You can read the first chapter here.
You can buy a copy here and here or any good bookstore. On the 9th of August I will be interviewing Sue on my Chez Aspie blog and giving away a signed copy of The Cloths of Heaven courtesy of Myriad Editions.
You can find out more about Sue at Myriad Editions or by following her on Twitter.
Why do I do these things to myself?
2 weeks ago