Book Review: All Their Minds in Tandem by David Sanger


Format: Hardback
Published: 7th April 2016
Puablisher: Quercus Books.
Pages: 464 Pages

The Blurb
Twin Peaks in the 1800s – an enigmatic stranger unearths a small town’s secrets.
The setting is October 1879. The stage is New Georgetown, West Virginia.

A mysterious figure by the name of ‘The Maker’ has entered this small community and, almost immediately upon doing so, started entering the minds of the townsfolk.

Townsfolk who are as curious as The Maker himself. Like Dr Umbründ, the pint-sized physician with a prodigious capacity for sin; like the three sisters in the house on the hill – one stern, one wild, one mysterious; like the tavern’s semi-mythical siren, ‘The Bird’, who plays spellbinding music from behind a black velvet curtain, and whom no patron has ever laid eyes on; like Odell, a youth with dreams and ambitions that his craven disposition will forever prevent him from seizing; and who has spent the entirety of his erstwhile existence under the crushing heel of Clay, New Georgetown’s lead cad and chief alpha male.

As we enter these characters’ lives, and lightly tread our way through their brains, their bedrooms, their backstories and beyond, we will see what it is they all hope for and hide – and learn just why The Maker has chosen to meet them.

Rating: 4/5

The Review
Thank you to Midas PR and Quercus for the copy of All Their Minds in Tandem to read and review.

Set in a small town in West Virginia, it’s the year 1879 and people are depressed. Set after the harrowing Civil War, many are rebuilding their lives after unhappy times. A stranger enters the village, The Maker, or Emerson as he us commonly known, whom brings a new wave of excitement to the village and a host of his secrets.

During his visit, he stays with three sisters, all of which seem to find him incredibly desirable! Even though the story is all about Emerson, the sisters play a big part in his journey. I felt Blanche was trying too hard and Kittie, well I don’t really know what her character was trying to portray.

There’s also Odell, a keen pianist, his sister Ora, Clay, one of the sister’s object of affection and ‘The Bird’, a lady where no village folk has ever seen her face.

You learn that Emerson can erase (or attempt to) sad/unhappy memories and replace with more of a happy outlook. Would you want someone to do that for you or is this simply playing with fate? You don’t really learn about how he is able to complete this unusual gift, but I think knowing that he can emulate happiness, even oy for a short period of time, doesn’t make you question his history or intentions. Plus, with the Civil War fresh in their minds anything that helps to forget would be widely accepted.

I think I’d love to remove some unwanted memories from my mind, but keep a few as I don’t think it would have shaped me into who I am otherwise.

Sanger’s writing was something I felt I needed to comment about. Each page was written beautiful and the story flowed perfectly. It’s not a common thing for me to describe the writing style, especially when it’s linked to Historical fiction. I often find Historical fiction a little off putting and quite difficult to read, but All Their Minds in Tandem was a dream.

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Published by Clare

Book lover, tea drinker and sushi fiend!

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