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Tourists rarely come to Shirley County, it seems that when they do it’s because they are a bit lost. Shirley County, and not its inhabitants, is hostile towards outsiders. Still Candy Vale cannot imagine leaving, and that with her childhood having been marked by troublesome events. Even though there are many different story lines within the books, and many characters to keep track of, I think that Candy is the main character (at least she is my favourite). It is the end of the summer holidays, the school year is about to start, and Candy is going crazy for Sam, a newcomer in Shirley Country. She is attracted to him and his artistic skills. But with the return of her best friend John, whose sick Grandfather is shaken by strange dreams, and who loves researching, finds out that Sam has a darker past than Candy wants to admit.

The Tramp – Book one of the Bound Chronicles by Sarah Wathen lets the reader discover the different sides of Shirley County, how it is seen by tourists, locals, new locals, and regular visitors. And it is definitely not always as peaceful and comforting as one could think of a prohibition county. Sarah Wathen’s writing is rich with images, that lets the reader easily imagine the setting, but also feel what the different characters feel. Not rarely did I have a smile creep on my face or a shiver run down my spine.

Even though The Tramp is beautifully written, I had a hard time getting hooked by the story. Because it took a while to unfold, but once I was captured, there was no turning back and I wanted to know more. This slow beginning was probably due to wide variety of characters that were introduced, so many characters and different story lines, that I have to confess that I got a bit lost at times. It was’t rare that I had to go back a few chapters to find myself in the story. Some storylines were only short, and a one time appearance, that I guess that these characters will be important in the subsequent books.

As I mentioned above, Sarah Wathen makes one feel, see and even live the scene. She paints with words, just like she painted the cover art. Now it’s a bit over a week since I finished the novel, and the story has marked me, some scenes were so lively that they are hard to forget. I absolutely adore the character Candy Vale, and am hoping to find out soon how the story continues, as the ending is quite a cliffhanger. For some reason  The Tramp sometimes reminded of A Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.

Book review by Solveig Werner about The Tramp – Book one of the Bound Cronicles by Sarah Wathen; LayerCake Production 2015

You can find the book here: On Amazon US| on Amazon UK

And check out Sarah Weather’s blog as well as her brilliant story she wrote for the A to Z Challenge (linking you to the letter A).