Storms Gather Between Us by Clare Flynn

Imagine gentle waves lapping the shore. It’s a hot day and the sea looks so inviting. But when you dip your toe in, it’s freezing! “What’s this got to do with books?” I hear you cry! Well, before I started reading Storms Gather Between Us, the prospect of reading a saga genre book felt a little like the cold sea, possibly with a few jellyfish thrown in for good measure. You see, I associated this kind of book with the Catherine Cookson’s my mum used to read. I have nothing against those books; they’re just not my cup of tea (or ice cream if we’re sticking with the beach metaphor). So imagine my surprise when I dipped my tow in and not only was the sea jellyfish free but warm and inviting. So much so that I began to swim.

The story follows William Kidd, an Australian seaman with a notorious family history, and Hannah Dawson, a Liverpudlian living in fear of her father’s religious tyranny and violence. William has no time for romance with his love ’em and leave ’em approach to women in different ports, but he sometimes yearns for kinship and family. Hannah dreads the punishment her father would mete out to her mother, sister and herself if he ever caught her with a man.

When their paths cross and they are drawn to each other, they realise a relationship could cost them everything, especially as Hannah’s father is becoming more unhinged every day. William has finally found his soulmate but can he stop her father’s plans to marry her off whilst keeping Hannah and her family safe?

I loved the characters portrayed in this novel and, as I know Liverpool quite well, seeing the docks and surrounding areas brought to life as they once were gave this book a special place in my heart. I couldn’t read the pages fast enough as Hannah’s father dealt the pair blow after blow.

I don’t want to say any more because I’ll be running the risk of spoilers but if you’re a little uncertain of the saga genre, Storms Gather Between Us is a great way to dip your toe in.

Rating: 4 out of 5.