Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Craft Room!
Sylvia Blackwell is tired. Her grandchildren are being kept away from her, and the expected inheritance that might finally get her middle-aged son to move out has failed to materialise – thanks to her mother’s cat. It is becoming increasingly difficult to remain composed. On a romantic clifftop walk for her 47th Wedding Anniversary, an unexpected opportunity leads to a momentous decision that will irretrievably change the course of her life. The Craft Room is a darkly comic tale of sex, crepe paper, murder and knitting in a sleepy Devon town, with a ‘truly original’ premise and genuinely jaw-dropping moments. What would you do if unexpectedly freed from bondage you never knew you were in? How would your children cope? How far would you go to protect them from an uncomfortable truth? You can only push a grandmother so far…
I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of ride I was getting myself into when I decided to read this book, but I am so glad I did! It’s a breath of fresh air, and quickly added itself to my list of favorite reads this year.
I’ll start this off by stating that this is a dark comedy, and an uncomfortably funny look at a grandmother who has been suppressing a lifetime of anger, and is ready to take it out on everyone.
I love the inner voice of Sylvia. It’s clear from the get-go that she is a little out there, and it just gets more crazy as the novel progresses. What I really love, is that she is so unlikable and unsympathetic, and she barely has a conscience. She is a main character that I loved to hate from beginning to end.
The rest of the characters were also very well done. Interestingly enough, by the end I was rooting for them. Unfortunately, the pesky Sylvia was in the way.
I thoroughly enjoyed Dave Holwill’s writing style. The novel kept me hooked from beginning to end, and I am definitely interested in reading more from him. If you’re a fan of dark comedies, I highly recommend this book.
Dave Holwill was born in Guildford in 1977 and quickly decided that he preferred the Westcountry – moving to Devon in 1983 (with some input from his parents).
After an expensive (and possibly wasted) education there, he has worked variously as a postman, a framer, and a print department manager (though if you are the only person in the department then can you really be called a manager?) all whilst continuing to play in every kind of band imaginable on most instruments you can think of.
His debut novel, Weekend Rockstars, was published in August 2016 to favourable reviews and his second The Craft Room (a very dark comedy concerning death through misadventure) came out in August 2017. He is currently in editing hell with the third.
Let me know what you think!