A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood
From Goodreads: Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, sixteen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer – a handsome, dashing brother and sister – Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams.
But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions… And is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family?
A gorgeously dreamy coming-of-age romance set against a stunning Gatsby-esque backdrop, this is perfect for fans of I Capture the Castle and Eva Ibbotson.
So I had tried fruitlessly to grab an ARC of this book before it was released. I wasn’t entirely sure if it would be my thing, having only heard that it was a historical fiction about Gatsby like parties and having seen the gorgeous GORGEOUS cover, but I knew I wanted it so I ended up ordering it on Book Depository.
To be honest, by the time it arrived, I had lost some of the anticipation and I wasn’t really feeling it when I picked it up. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump recently and I didn’t think this would be the book to pull me out of it. But wow, was I wrong. It started pretty slowly, at least for me, and it did seem a little in danger of being put down and forgotten about by me. Still, I carried on reading just a smidge further, and it got totally amazingly brilliant. I should have really known from the first page. Although I wasn’t immediately hooked, I did get the sense that the writing style, the witty little phrases, were up my street and I maybe would have appreciated them even more if I wasn’t still slumping.
Later on though, the characters and the parties and the romances absolutely sizzle on the page and I honestly couldn’t tear myself away. I read the whole thing in two long bursts, and I fell in love with it. The parties sparkle and dazzle, and yes it is as Gatsby-esque as everyone has claimed it would be. The details about the clothes and the settings really pulled me into the story, and I found myself hungry for more. I love the main character, Lou, and her frankness, as well as how down to earth she is about things. Robert is also awesome, and I liked how cynical he was about the parties. Caitlin surprised me; I thought she was going to start nice and turn horrid, but she was a complete sweetheart and a great friend. She did have a lot going on with her, but I liked how a lot of serious issues about the time period were addressed in a way that didn’t distract from the story or become too heavy. They were interwoven with a deft touch, and I loved each and every page of A Sky Painted Gold.
Overall, I think the novel is a great debut and a wonderful summer read. The romance is light and fluffy, and there was a lot of party and romantic drama to keep me hooked. By the end of it, I was punching the air and squealing like a tea kettle with satisfaction. Yes, the ending was a trifle rose tinted, in so much as it doesn’t seem to match the actions of people living in that time period. But then, I’m hardly an expert on British life in the 20’s so maybe don’t take my word for it.
I’m giving A Sky Painted Gold a 10/10 stars.
Has anyone read this book already or is planning to read it? Let me know in the comment section. As ever, I love reading everyone’s thoughts on books I’ve read!
Enjoyed this review? Thinking about picking up the book yourself? If you want to purchase a copy of A Sky Painted Gold for yourself you can do so through Waterstones here, Amazon UK here, or through my Book Depository affiliation link here.