The Restaurant @ the Mill
Linn B. Halton
I can honestly say I fell head over heels in love with this book almost from page one, there was so much in there to keep you fully engaged that it was a delight. It is one of the few books I could honestly not put down until I had finished and I found I was still reading in the wee small hours, just me and a box of tissues.
The people have been given real depth of character and you feel could almost step out of the pages fully realised, plus the story is so beautifully crafted you almost feel you are going through their individual issues with them as a confidant. You are left with a heartwarming impression of each and every person she writes about in the Mill. Throughout the book you are taken on a real emotional roller coaster and by turns I found myself sad, desolate, overjoyed, rooting for the underdog, grinning like an idiot, giggling and sobbing into my pillow.
Having purchased and read Ms Halton’s other novels, I find her to be a truly gifted and emotive writer who has become one of my all time favourites. To whom I return time and again, re-reading her books over and over, until at last a new one becomes available for me to devour. I do however think The Restaurant @ the Mill will always be my favourite because it was the first of her books I read and also its ethereal quality, but I do wish she could write as fast as I read.
The locations used are so beautifully chosen and put to paper they are brought to life in the readers mind, descriptive writing at its very best! There has also obviously been a great deal of research into a lot of diverse areas behind the characters hobbies etc but this comes across as effortless, and is beautifully written with a complete understanding of her inspiration.
For me the way the book is split into seasons is nice way to achieve the overall appeal of the book. This in turn was split into nice size chapters, making it easy to pick up where you leave off although that was on the odd occasion I was able to put it down ( the odd tea and cake break is a necessity ). This is a really good size book and is paced perfectly to keep your interest the whole way through, part of the pull is the interconnection of storylines which on the surface seem unrelated and are often not fully resolved leaving the reader to drawer their own conclusions but filling in just enough information to allow you to do so, which is a welcome relief.
Sarah’s final words really pull the silvery threads of each storyline together wonderfully in a beautifully soft paranatural unveiling of her story at the end and essentially you are left bereft when you finish the last page and have to put your friends on the bookshelf, hoping when you look next in the bookshop a new publication by Ms Halton will have magically appeared.