About the author:
Sandra Danby is a proud Yorkshire woman, tennis nut and tea drinker. She believes a walk on the beach will cure most ills. Unlike Rose Haldane, the identity detective in her two novels, ‘Ignoring Gravity’ and ‘Connectedness’, Sandra is not adopted.
About the book:
TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, ARTIST JUSTINE TREE HAS IT ALL… BUT SHE ALSO HAS A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY EVERYTHING
Justine’s art sells around the world, but does anyone truly know her? When her mother dies, she returns to her childhood home in Yorkshire where she decides to confront her past. She asks journalist Rose Haldane to find the baby she gave away when she was an art student, but only when Rose starts to ask difficult questions does Justine truly understand what she must face.
Is Justine strong enough to admit the secrets and lies of her past? To speak aloud the deeds she has hidden for 27 years, the real inspiration for her work that sells for millions of pounds. Could the truth trash her artistic reputation? Does Justine care more about her daughter, or her art? And what will she do if her daughter hates her?
One of the best things about being a guest reviewer is that I am sent hidden gems like Connectedness by Sandra Danby. I didn’t realise this was the second in a series but it can easily be read as a standalone. The concept of the story itself is fascinating: In the ‘Identity Detective’ series, Rose Haldane, journalist and identity detective, reunites the people lost through adoption. They are the stories you don’t see on television shows. The difficult cases. The people who cannot be found, who are thought lost forever. Rose Haldane is a version of those people that reunite families on Surprise Surprise and Long Lost Families. Although the setting isn’t a glamourous TV studio we have the vivid descriptions of London’s Art world, the blustery cliffs of East Yorkshire and the hot, blossom laden streets of Malaga, Spain.
I really loved the character of Justine Tree, acclaimed, best-selling artist who is literally tortured by her art and past secrets. Her pain, fear and regret are splashed across canvas for all to see. When she is forced to bring back horrific memories of her time as a student she is struck down by powerful migraines and sometimes her only relief is to paint through the pain. The description of the art was fantastic ; so vivid and real.
Justine gave up her daughter 27 years ago and has never got over the pain but in revealing the truth she is cautious how she will be perceived in the public; her secrets are already out there in art form and open to interpretation but no one knows the full truth of her past. Does Justine care more about her daughter, or her art?
A beautiful story about art, true love, loss and regret – Connectedness is an absolutely engrossing story and one that I highly recommend!