Book Review – The Spire by Kate Canterbary

This is a review for The Spire, the latest book in the Walsh Series by author Kate Canterbary, which is released today (Tuesday 13th December 2016). I’m a huge fan of this series so I was more than a little bit excited to receive an ARC of this book!

As always, The Spire is a perfect blend of smart writing, strong characterisations and enough emotional twists and turns to keep the reader completely engaged and absorbed with the story. I’m a big fan of Kate’s writing style and she hasn’t lost momentum as the series has progressed. In fact, this is probably my favourite book so far and considering how many books there are in this series, that’s really saying something.

This book begins a little confusingly in that I didn’t realise the prologue was a flash forward, but once I’d got that clear in my head, the book has the strong beginning and beautiful way with words that I’ve come to associate with Kate Canterbary’s books. “Green like the inside of a secret.” Her imagery is flawless.

Insta-love is one of my pet hates and yet it’s navigated so perfectly, so soulfully, that it’s entirely convincing and both fits the story and makes perfect sense with the characters. Both the characters approach their attraction with sensible heads and a lot of doubts, which takes any sense of the saccharine straight out of it, leaving only the raw feelings behind.

It also has that trademark Canterbary humour that always makes me smile. It’s what really brings the characters to life. As always, they’re fleshed out to perfection with description that lets your imagination capture them with dreamlike quality – “Her soul was centuries older than her skin.”

There are some absolute gems of life wisdom sprinkled throughout the book, with the sort of life affirming joy that fills you with satisfaction as you read. I read this on a plane and if I’d been marginally less socially awkward I would have given into the urge to read the following passage aloud to everyone in earshot and yell “THIS! So much this!” – “Do dangerous things. Ignore the f*** out of conventional wisdom. Walk on fire. Treat everyone with kindness because people are the only things worth holding on to. Live without regrets because there is no time for that s***. Never forget the way home, and leave a trail of breadcrumbs if you have to. Love, and get your heart broken, and say f*** it, and love again and then again.”

I’m also having serious tattoo envy from Erin.

I think one of the things I loved most about this book is that it doesn’t dwell on the maudlin. If you’ve read the rest of the books in the series, you’ll know that there’s a lot of bad blood under the bridge. Erin has been traumatised by many things but I loved that this book was about who she is in the here and now and who she wants to be in the future. We don’t have to dredge through all the morbid details of the past. Its a book about hope and about healing, even when the person most getting in our way is ourselves.

I love that all the characters in this series are so different and Erin is no exception. I think she’s actually my favourite of the Walshes for reasons that will remain private, but I loved the way she has these tangential random cluster monologues that don’t start anywhere near where you expect them to but end up making perfect sense.

I loved all the fascinating information too. This book is surprisingly educational if you’re prepared to read it that way, especially about rocks, and I’m not in any way ashamed to admit that I want to research philosophical geology as a result of it.

Canterbary has this way with words that somehow transcends the mundane. She talks about the cosmos in the same breath as the dirt and there’s something really special about it as a writing style.

I have no hesitation in saying that Canterbary is the queen of contemporary romance. And that’s what I view it as. While there are sex scenes and they are steamy hot in places, they’re approached with such a strength of class and elegance that there’s nothing smutty about them. This is a book you read for the love story and the characters, not for cheap thrills.

I can’t say much more without putting in spoilers so all I can say is that I very much recommend this book, along with the rest of the series.

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