Wednesday 10 October 2018

Book Review: Joseph Barnaby by Susan Roebuck

Last Updated: 03 August 2021

Joseph Barnaby by Susan Roebuck book blog tour banner

AD* | Stand by your beliefs – even if it means going to the end of the Earth. 

By standing up for his principles, horse farrier Joseph Barnaby lost everything. Now, when a personal vendetta goes too deep to fight, he escapes to the Portuguese island of Madeira where he finds work on a small farm only accessible by boat.

The balmy climate and never-ending supply of exotic fruit, vegetables, and honey make it sound like paradise. But, for Joseph, it’s the ideal place to hide from the world.

Not everyone is prepared to give up on life’s misfortunes. The local fishing village has its own surprises and the inhabitants of Quinta da Esperan├ža have more grit in them than the pebbled beach that borders the property.

Joseph Barnaby by Susan Roebuck book blog tour graphic

I am honoured to have been asked to take part in the blog tour for Joseph Barnaby by Susan Roebuck - a novel that I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into!

Joseph Barnaby is the third book of Susan Roebuck's that I have read and reviewed here on The Writing Greyhound, and I am always keen to get stuck into her fiction. With rich prose and descriptions a-plenty, did Joseph Barnaby manage to live up to the expectations I gained from reading Susan's other work?

I loved Rising Tide (you can find my review here) but sadly, Forest Dancer, the last Susan Roebuck book I read, didn't have quite the same sparkle and life that seeped through the pages of Rising Tide. I began reading Joseph Barnaby with bated breath, waiting to see which of the two previous novels the story would follow. Luckily, I am pleased to report that this latest book heralds a wonderful return to form for Susan Roebuck!

With a beautifully-described setting, rich landscapes and vivid imagery, Susan does exactly what she does best when it comes to the description and attention to detail that is omnipresent in her writing. I have said it before and no doubt I will say it again, but very few writers can describe a setting so effectively and so eloquently as Susan Roebuck. I've never been to Portugal, but after reading Susan's books, I feel as though I could welcome it as familiarly as an old friend!

Joseph Barnaby by Susan Roebuck book cover

Although Susan Roebuck definitely has a tried-and-tested formula to work from in terms of her plots, it's clear that this formula is one that really does work. By keeping the cast of supporting characters down to a minimum and focusing instead on the love, conflict and relationships between the few characters that are most integral to the story, the reader is treated to impressive character development and clear progression throughout the story.

Again, there is a supernatural element to Joseph Barnaby achieved via a fascinating - if slightly distracting -sub-plot. I won't go into too much detail so as to avoid giving away any spoilers, but let's just say that the character of Lua is mysterious, wonderful, and could easily be the star of a story all of her own!

Joseph Barnaby is a great return to form for Susan Roebuck and I'm eagerly awaiting the chance to read more of her work in the future!

Rating: 4 stars

Joseph Barnaby is available to buy now.

If you like the sound of this book, you might also enjoy...

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Have you read any of Susan Roebuck's books? Let me know in the comments below!