Hello I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Odette by Jessica Duchen. Thanks so much to Anne Cater for the invite and to the author for my gorgeous paperback copy. Before I share my review here’s what the book is all about:
“When a swan crashes through her window at the height of a winter storm, Mitzi Fairweather decides to nurse the injured bird back to health. At sunset, though, it becomes a human being. This unexpected visitor is Odette, the swan princess – alone, in danger and adrift in 21st century Britain, dependent on the kindness of strangers. Bird by day, woman by night, with no way to go home to Russia, she remains convinced that only a man’s vow of eternal love can break her spell. Mitzi is determined to help Odette, but as the two try to hide the improbable truth, their web of deception grows increasingly tangled…
A contemporary twist on Swan Lake, Odette asks – in the best tradition of fairy tales – whether against all odds, hope, empathy and humanity can win the day.”
What a wonderful book this was! I was hooked from the first page and felt part of the story straight away. I really liked Mitzi and Odette the main characters, and loved following their stories. I’m not familiar with the original Swan Lake fairy tale so wasn’t too sure how it would unfold, making it a fantastic mystery for me.
Just before I started reading this book a large flock of wild geese were spending time in a nearby field, constantly flying over my house. As well as being noisy, geese are big, but swans are much larger, so goodness knows how I’d cope if one crashed through my window!
Mitzi was just brilliant taking Odette in and making sure she was okay, even though she really wasn’t sure what to make of her. I was charmed by Odette’s wonder and delight at this new world she found herself in. It was lovely watching her enthusiasm for everything she encountered, making me quite envious of her childlike attitude.
Just like Mitzi, I was quite amused at Odette’s insistence of needing a man to release her from the swan spell and wondered if there would be a modern twist to this dilemma?
This has become a new favourite for me and definitely a book I will re-read in the future. If you’re looking for a heart-warming story this Christmas, I thoroughly recommend this one.
About the Author
Jessica Duchen is an acclaimed author and journalist, specialising in words for, with and about music. Her work has appeared in The Independent, The Guardian and The Sunday Times, plus numerous magazines around the world. Her first five novels have gathered a loyal fan-base and wide acclaim. Music plays a vital role in her books, and she frequently narrates concert versions of Alicia’s Gift, Hungarian Dances and Ghost Variations.
Jessica is the librettist for the opera Silver Birch by Roxanna Panufnik, commissioned by Garsington Opera and shortlisted for a 2018 International Opera Award. Current projects include the libretto for a youth opera with composer Paul Fincham for Garsington 2019 (an updating of an Oscar Wilde fairy tale) and two large-scale choral works with Roxanna Panufnik.
She was born within the sound of Bow Bells, studied music at Cambridge and held editorial posts on several music magazines before going freelance to concentrate on writing. She edited a piano magazine for five years and was then classical music and ballet correspondent for The Independent from 2004-2016. Her output also includes plays, poetry, biographies of the composers Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Gabriel Fauré (published by Phaidon) and her popular classical music blog, JDCMB. She lives in London with her violinist husband and two cats. She enjoys playing the piano, cookery, long walks and obscure books about music.
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour