Animation by Kayelle Allen at The Author's Secret

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday's Writer: Jenny Twist

As a UK resident, reader and writer, I've occasionally run into difficulties when dealing with THAT SHOP across the pond.  They recently withdrew all the book reviews I'd written without explanation, much to my chagrin.  When I'm not writing, I'm reading - those are my two priorities in life.  And when I read a book I've really enjoyed, I want to share it with the world and try to encourage everyone else to read it too.

So I thought: I have a blog, why not post my reviews on that?  It may not attract as many readers as that shop, but who can tell?  From little acorns and all that.  My only difficulty here is in choosing where to start.  Not terribly difficult though.  

One story that has seriously impressed me is Domingo's Angel, by Jenny Twist.  Since reading this book, I've had the privilege of getting to know this delightful author and have read more of her works.  She never lets me down, but Domingo's Angel has set the bar very high for me.  This will be the first recipient of my cut cats award.

Domingo's Angel by Jenny Twist

Jenny Twist is a wonderfully talented storyteller and ‘Domingo’s Angel’ weaves a spell of enchantment around the reader from start to finish.  Although set in the 1950s (when the English woman, Angela, first arrives in the remote mountain village of Amendillas), there is nonetheless a timeless quality to the story.  Through seamless flashbacks, the narrative takes us through the dreadful days of the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s despotic rule, then forwards into a happier, hopeful future. 

The small, self-sufficient community seems untouched by the outside world and, on the surface looks like paradise. However, every character has been affected and deeply scarred by past tragedies and each nurses his or her own secret pain.  Widows, who have long ago stopped weeping and have put away their smiles - seemingly forever, are the backbone of this community now devoid of men of a certain generation.

The English Angela is escaping from her own tragic secrets, but her healing process begins when she meets Domingo who worships her as his angel, then little by little, the healing magic begins to spread.  But it is Rosalba, the excellently–drawn village matriarch, whose complex life-journey really captivates our hearts.  Angela is quick to realise that “Whatever Rosalba thinks today, the village will think tomorrow” and the true love story is the growing bond between these two women, who learn to heal each other.

I read the latter half of the story almost entirely through misty eyes as the main characters grew larger than life with every page, unfolding their astonishing stories to me like good friends trusting me with their heartfelt secrets.  When I reached the final page, I felt bereft and lonely, though completely satisfied that I had left them all in very good hands.  Domingo’s Angel is a story I will certainly read again and this author goes straight to the top of my favourites list.

Domingo's Angel deserves a straight 5 cute cats award!

About Jenny Twist

Jenny Twist was born in York and brought up in the West Yorkshire mill town of Heckmondwike,the eldest grandchild of a huge extended family. 
She left school at fifteen and went to work in an asbestos factory. After working in various jobs, including bacon-packer and escapologist’s assistant, she returned to full-time education and did a BA in history at Manchester and post-graduate studies at Oxford.
She stayed in Oxford working as a recruitment consultant for many years and it was there that she met and married her husband, Vic.
In 2001 they retired and moved to Southern Spain where they live with their rather eccentric dog and cat
Her first book, Take One At Bedtime, was published in April 2011 and the second, Domingo’s Angel, was published in July 2011. Her novella, Doppelganger, was published in the anthology Curious Hearts in July 2011, Uncle Vernon, was published in Spellbound, in November 2011,  Jamey and the Alien was published in Warm Christmas Wishes in December 2011 and Mantequero was published in the anthology Winter Wonders in December 2011.
Her new novel, All in the Mind, about an old woman who mysteriously begins to get younger, will be published in September/October 2012.

You can contact Jenny Twist via her website:


Jenny Twist said...

Thank you, Lynette. I am so touched by your wonderful review. What lovely things you say! Bless you. Love Jenny xx

Su Halfwerk said...

I agree, Lynette. Jenny Twist's style in writing is arresting. Each story of hers, no matter the length or genre, is full of imagery, sentiments, and a surprising twist. I always wait for that twist to hit me (the one in the story, not the author.)
I have Domingo's Angel in my TBR pile and each review I read assured me of the soundness of my decision to read this book. I can't wait.
Great in-depth review!

Stefanie J Pristavu said...

Awesome! Congrats Jenny!

ManicScribbler said...

You're very welcome, Jenny. I meant every word.

ManicScribbler said...

Oh Su, are you in for a treat! I know you'll love it.

Jenny Twist said...

Thanks Su. I really hope you enjoy it. Lots of love
Jenny xxx

Jenny Twist said...

Thanks, Stefanie. So pleased to meet you. Love

Paula Martin said...

Agree with everything you said about Domingo's Angel, Lyn. I loved it - including Marmalade the cat!

Jody Vitek said...

Yes, very well said Lyn. This is a book that is very hard to put down, as Jenny sucks you into a different time and place. I have wondered, Jenny, is Marmalade the cat Angela's father reincarnated in some way? I cried at the wedding scene. A definite must read for anyone who hasn't read Domingo's Angel. I suggest it be bumped to the top of the TBR pile.

ManicScribbler said...

Thanks for visiting, Stefanie, Paula and Jody.
I agree about the intriguing Marmalade - stole every scene it was in.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I have the book but haven't gotten a moment to read it yet. Your review is pushing me harder. Have to find the time. Thanks. Congrats, Jenny!

Kim McMahill said...

I always find something interesting and entertaining on your blog. Thanks. I look forward to meeting more great "Wednesday Writers."

Jenny Twist said...

Hi Jody. Do you know, it never occurred to me that Marmalade might be her father's reincarnation, but I really like the idea! He made himself up so he could easily be.
Lots of love

Jenny Twist said...

I know how you feel, Brenda. I've got books in my TBR pile I'm longing to read and no time! Luckily books don't go off!
Loads of love

ManicScribbler said...

I envy you, Brenda, because you've got the treat to look forward to. Escalate it up the TBR pile - you won't regret it. That's a promise.

ManicScribbler said...

Aww, Kim thank you so much for your kind words. I hope to be featuring you very soon.

Chris Middleton said...

I came over from Twitter to check this out. This recommendation has certainly got me interested in reading this, especially with my interest in the Spanish Civil war, though I have to admit I'm also a sucker for scene-stealing moggies...

Tara Fox Hall said...

Domingo's Angel was a beautiful romance, with memorable characters, touching romance, and a wonderfully perfect HEA. But it was so much more with its real life Spanish history, messages of forgiveness and redemption, and the love between a mother and long lost son :) Read it. You won't be disappointed!

Maddy said...

A woman who mysteriously gets younger! Now that's got to be a best seller.

Jenny Twist said...

Hi Chris. How nice to meet you. It does sound like it might be up your street. I hope so. Love Jenny

Jenny Twist said...

Tara, you are totally fab! Thank you so much
Love Jenny

Jenny Twist said...

Hi Maddy. Nice to meet you. I'm hoping it will be a best seller, too. Fingers crossed.

ManicScribbler said...

Oh wow - this surely is confirmation that my tastes are spot on! I think Domingo's Angel is a future bestseller!
Chris, hello - you definitely should read this book if Spanish history and clever cats interest you! I promise you won't be disappointed. Tara, you and I are of one mind - I expect we were sisters in a former life ;)- couldn't agree more. And Maddy, I also agree with you about 'All in the Mind' - we all want a share of that. How can it possibly fail?
Thank you all of you for dropping by and commenting about this excellent book.

Post a Comment