Welcome to The Reading Closet lovely readers! If you haven’t guessed already, it’s my turn on ‘The Pumilio Child’ blog tour, organised by the wonderful Anne Cater. Thankyou Anne for the continued opportunities to read amazing books and review them for the Random Things Tours. I’d also like to thank Unbound for gifting me a copy of Judy Mcinerney’s novel in preparation of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
‘The Pumilio Child’ was published by Unbound on the 20th of September 2018, it is available in both ebook and paperback formats. You can purchase here (I highly recommend it!) The author Judy McInerney has lived and worked in London for most of her professional life. Living in the Middle East, she managed to get lost in the desert, and to live through a military coup. After teaching in Abu Dhabi and starting her own business in Turkey, she returned to London and completed a creative writing course at Goldsmiths. As a frequent traveller to China over the last 30 years she has seen the country undergo seismic changes, from the times of Mao jackets and vast shoals of bicycles meandering along every hutong, to the present day, where there are over 200 million cars in China, and Beijing is far bigger than Belgium. She still travels in China each year to keep in close touch with family there. She also has a longstanding love affair with Italy, particularly the Renaissance cities of the north. Mantua is an undiscovered gem, both magical and macabre.
Apart from the beautiful cover of this book, the blurb also caught me! I knew immediately that I would kick myself if I didn’t say yes to this tour. Here’s the blurb, just for you!
“Ya Ling’s cultured life of privilege in Beijing is cruelly cut short when she is abducted and shipped to the slave market in Venice. When Mantegna sees her chained to a post, his initial intention is to paint her exotic beauty, but he soon he desires her company for pleasures of a more private nature. Ya Ling has two ambitions, to ruin Mantegna, then to escape back to her family in China. However, Mantegna’s latest commission, two huge frescos for the ruling Gonzaga family, make him invincible.
Will Ya Ling survive? And can she succeed?“
Well, I don’t know where to start apart from telling you that I was completely engrossed in this book! Every free minute I had was used to delve into another chapter of The Pumilio Child. An extradonary piece of literature that i’m still reeling on. Judy Mcinerney did a magnificent job bringing Ya Ling to life!
Ya Ling is the protagonist in this read, she was born into a high status of healers. She is stolen the night before she is due to be married and shipped half way across the world to Italy where she is sold to the highest bidder. My first impressions of Ya Ling, is that she is strong, intelligent and independant. Even when she’s initially held captive with another girl; she is protective, using her skills to determine the next moves of her captors. I love Ya Ling as a character and I love that although a victim to a cruel system, that she isn’t a match stereotypical literary victimology. Although Ya Ling isn’t a weak character, my heart couldn’t help but ache when throughout the storyline she feels shame, grief and loss. I was shook by her story. Judy clearly knew what she wanted from her main character, and she delivered!
I for one, enjoy reading a novel from overlapping view points. The main POVs in this novel are Ya Ling and and that of an artist Andrea Mantegna, who is obsessed with money, status and power. Between the flicks between POVs, we also get a time travelling insight of past and present stories that are really cleverly entwined, while evoking waves of emotion within the reader (me!)
For me, authenticity of the story is important, this could be the whole novel or just the foundation in which the novel is built upon. Judy Mcinerney tells us at the beginning of the book that she is not a historian. This being said, as a reader, I am really impressed that she has taking the time to research (remember Judy has also travelled regularly to China and seen the culture develop!) certain aspects. Such as Chinese traditions, including male castration, occupations such as healers as well of the kidnap and shipping of young girls who were trafficked across the Black sea and sold in Europe. I also loved that the language indicated an historical novel without being overly complicated to follow and understand.
‘The Pumilio Child’ waltzed into my life and left me bookstruck! I was in love from the first chapter, I also demand (please) that it gets televised! Film or drama series, I do not mind! Ya Ling’s story is one of courage, strength, loss and hope. The quality of writing is exceptional and beautiful rolled into one 405 page novel! This read will stay with you, it’ll engage you from the get go and won’t release you from its readers grasp until the very last pages! *Warning* tissues may be needed!
I am always so happy to find a book through a tour that I LOVED that I may never have found myself. I am reminded everyday that some amazing books may not reach the shelves but I feel do lucky to be part of the tours that help to bring fabulous books to the attention of other readers who may not have found them! I truly and utterly loved The Pumilio Child and I will recommend it to all my bookish buddies! If you love historical fiction and thrillers, this is a hybrid read that you’re not going to want to miss!
Thankyou again Anne for having me on-board a tour for such an unforgettable book!
1 thought on “#RandomThingsTour: The Pumilio Child by Judy Mcinerney @unbound @AnneCater #ThePumilioChild”
Massive thanks for this amazing Blog Tour support x