Book review: Mr Peacock's Possessions + competition

By Lydia Syson
Published by BonnierZaffre

Synopsis: Oceania 1879. A family of settlers from New Zealand are the sole inhabitants of a remote volcanic island. For two years they have struggled with the harsh reality of trying to make this unforgiving place a paradise they can call their own. At last, a ship appears. The six Pacific Islanders on board have travelled eight hundred miles across the ocean in search of work and new horizons. Hopes are high for all, until a vulnerable boy vanishes. In their search for the lost child, settlers and newcomers together uncover far more than they were looking for. The island's secrets force them all to question their deepest convictions.

How did this book end up in my hands? I won this book ahead of its publication date and it kept me company during a short break in Italy, making me travel further than expected!

Was it a page-turner? Absolutely. It took me a few chapters to get used to the two different narrative voices but once I found the rhythm I couldn’t stop!

Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expectations? My expectations were very high after reading the synopsis and they were largely exceeded.

Did I like the ending? [no spoilers] I was scared of reaching the end because I couldn’t tell what was going to happen. If there is one thing this book isn’t, that’s predictable. The ending was definitely to my satisfaction.

Did the book leave me with unanswered questions? Only the usual ‘what happens now?'. I do like open endings though as they allow me to imagine the next steps taken by the characters as they leave the page.

Three words to describe it. Evocative. Exotic. Tense.

Do I like the cover? I love it, it’s so beautiful! At first I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t a peacock on it but it all became clear when reading the book.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, this is the first of her books I read and I would definitely like to read more of her work – both future and past.

Will I be recommending this book? If you can read, you should read it and if you can’t, you should have it read to you. Great storyline, great landscapes and bigger-than-life characters. I dare anyone to not enjoy it.

Anything else? Yes! I have one copy of Mr Peacock’s Possessions to go to a lucky reader! All you have to do is follow me on Twitter and retweet the competition post by 29/07. UK only. All comments left below will count as extra entries (one per person). Good luck!


  1. This book sounds great and I love the way you have formatted your review, I might have to magpie that way. :)


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