A Sky Painted Gold follows sixteen year old Lou, who is enjoying yet another langorous summer in Cornwall, with not much to do but write her stories, hang out with her family, and spend afternoons sneaking into the Cardew house. But this summer is set to be different than any other before it. Lou's sister Alice is getting married and moving out of the family home, and the Cardews are back in their house for the summer, leaving Lou with no place to hide. Suddenly instead of writing her stories, Lou finds herself right in the middle of one: champagne, cocktails, scandal and new friends that live a life of excess. Is this really the summer of a lifetime, or will Lou lose herself along the way?
I was kindly sent A Sky Painted Gold by Scholastic in exchange for an honest review :)
Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...
Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, sixteen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer - a handsome, dashing brother and sister - Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams.
But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions... And is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family?
A gorgeously dreamy coming-of-age romance set against a stunning Gatsby-esque backdrop, this is perfect for fans of I Capture the Castle and Eva Ibbotson.
I didn't quite know what to expect from this book, however I soon found myself completely enchanted by the story and the characters. I don't read them very often but when I do, I love historical novels, and this one set in 1920s Cornwall sounded like one I would totally fall in love with. Spoiler: I was right. The writing was lyrically beautiful and so reminiscent of the lazy summers I myself have experienced in Cornwall for many years. Right from the start I really cared about Lou and related to her state of helplessness in regards to where she saw her future. Obviously as a woman living in the 21st century I have a lot more choice in regards to my future plans, however I did understand Lou's feeling of pressure to bow down to what her family wanted her to do. Lou is an facinating, strong female character and I found her development so interesting to read about. I particularly enjoyed how she loved writing.
All of the characters were so interesting and complex, and this definitely added to how much I enjoyed the story. I think Lou's family were portrayed brilliantly, especially between Lou and her mother and her sister. I also loved the friendships between the women in the Cardew house - A Sky Painted Gold definitely has a Gatsby feel, however the way that Wood portrays the women in the novel is a million miles away from Fitzgerald's writing.
As I mentioned before, the writing was so beautifully crafted so evocative in its descriptions. It is unlike any YA novel I have read before in terms of the story, and I particularly enjoyed the underlying darkness that lingered throughout most of the story. Despite the fact that A Sky Painted Gold is set in the past, Wood included a fair bit of diversity in the book, which is refreshing. I think some people forget that even though at the time diversity was not considered to be important, or a good things, people of different sexual orientation and race still existed, and they are important to be included in new 'histories' that we write.
Overall, I absolutely adored A Sky Painted Gold, and it is definitely the book you need to be packing to take with you if you are going on holiday this year. If you're going to Cornwall like me, even better!
Buy A Sky Painted Gold here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1407180207/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738
Check out Laura Wood here: https://www.lauraclarewood.com