Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.
Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?
Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.
The Bones Of Our Fathers by Elin Gregory is the type of book I sigh and cuddle up with. From the moment I settle into the quaint Welsh village of Pemberland and its surrounding towns of Escley, Brynglas and King’s Norton, I know I’m in for a treat. I love Elin Gregory and having a main character who’s a museum curator is a subject she’s uniquely qualified to write about (read her author’s bio). The descriptions of the Pemberland Centre for Heritage and Culture, formerly the Town Museum and its staff are vivid, sometimes hilarious,and feel created with an eye of someone familiar with similar settings and associates, albeit with fondness and sometimes exasperation. The last with the ladies of the Library with whom Mal and his staff now have to share a building. The bickering, the relationship dynamics that unfold between the town’s inhabitants and Mal, someone newly arrived in Pemberland and new to small village society maneuverings is both charming, believable, and cosy reading.
Its Rob Escley and their mutual attraction that helps to launch Mal further into becoming part of his newly adopted town and further his passion for his new little museum. Rob makes a remarkable discovery upon land that’s being prepared for development and that find propels Mal and Rob to new togetherness and a fight to save it for the village and prosperity.
However, nothing is ever simple. This is a terrific story where trust is a big issue for Mal, misunderstandings and miscommunication loom large, mostly because Mal just doesn’t understand what it means to live and be part of village life as he’s been so solitary for most of his. To switch from one mental and emotional state to one of almost constant connectedness is a transition we watch Mal make throughout the story. Sometimes funny, sometimes it filled with mistakes and angst (a rainy bike race through town is one of my favorite scenes here), Mal has to choose which life he’s going to live in the end. That choice will include Rob.
Ah Rob Escley. A bundle of vulnerability, sex appeal and smarts. Plus loyalty of course. He was so easy to fall for. But then this entire story from Betty , Zoe, Harvey, the regulars at the tavern called the Friday Nighters, even Morris, a certain gigantic dog, The Bones of Our Fathers overflows with characters to love. I mean I swear I’m going to hound this author until we get a story for a certain PC Brian Ferriner. I need to know his back history and want him to find a love too. How I really hated for this story to end and for me to have to leave this town and people behind.
I highly recommend The Bones of Our Fathers by Elin Gregory. The romance is gentle, believable and happy. This village and townspeople have a staying power and an ability to creep into your heart as a place you’ll want to return to. I hope the author decides this is a universe she will visit often in future stories as well.
Cover art by Michelle Peart is wonderful with a mug that shows up in the storyline.
ebook, 231 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Manifold Press