Margherita’s marriage is slowly falling apart. Getting pregnant after trying for so long may have been a fabulous surprise for her, but for her husband it was the last straw. When she needs him most, her husband is just not there for her or their children and she realises that they need time apart to figure out where their marriage is going. As she struggles to come to terms with her new life, Margherita decides to leave London and spend the summer in Glen Avich, where her mum and stepdad have just opened a new coffee shop. She needs time away to reconnect with her daughter Lara and sort out her life. But Glen Avich can have a strange effect on people, and when she and Lara start working for Torcuil Ramsay at a rundown local estate, everything begins to change. Margherita finds her heart awakened in a way she never thought possible and Lara begins a new friendship with a mysterious local boy, Mal, which makes her mother feel increasingly uneasy. And just when Margherita is finally beginning to discover who she really is, she finds out how quickly things can change and how hard it can be to make brave choices.
*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
‘Set Me Free’ is the 6th novel by Daniela Sacerdoti and one I’ve been waiting for eagerly ever since I found out she’s writing a new Glen Avich book. In a short time span of just 4 years, Ms Sacerdoti has written 3 standalones (among which her latest ‘Set Me Free’) and the Sarah Midnight Trilogy. However, despite being standalones, ‘Watch Over Me’ (her debut), ‘Take Me Home’ and ‘Set Me Free’ are all set in beautiful Glen Avich, a lovely place in Scotland. Another thing in common is the fact that some of her characters make an appearance in each next book, connecting these 3 novels in a very unique way.
Having read almost all of her novels, I can say Ms Sacerdoti is a talented writer and pours her soul into her books, creating magical places and transporting you to a time and place you don’t want to leave. Each of her books contains a certain paranormal element, entwined in a fantastic way with the main story. It’s just about the right doze of magic getting you hooked and making you turn the pages.
The story in ‘Set Me Free’ is centered around Margherita, a 38 year old mother and wife. She’s married to Ash, a guy who’s the most nonsupporting, irritating, self-centered bastard, yet she does her best to save her marriage. The thing is she’s not even aware of how cold and cruel he is until she’s pregnant. Despite going through a rough period, not being able to conceive and adopting a 6 year old girl, Lara, Ash is not pleased and happy about the pregnancy. As you can imagine, just reading about these parts and the dialog between Ash and Margherita, made me feel so angry, I honestly wanted to smash my kindle. But at the same time I am aware people like this exist, low, egoistical bastards who think their say is the alpha and omega of everything. But the day Margherita decides to go to Glen Avich and see her mother, bringing her kids with her, changes everything.
‘Set Me Free’, for me, had its good and bad moments. It’s a short and easy read you can finish in one sitting. The setting is amazing, being back to Glen Avich in summer time was truly refreshing and I loved Ms Sacerdoti’s description of the place. I was also happy to see Inary back (the main heroine from ‘Take Me Home’ and see that she’s doing great and is very successful in her writing. Lara, the daughter seemed a bit too mature for her age, but considering the fact she knew she was adopted and doesn’t have the best relationship with her step dad, Ash, I could understand her being very serious sometimes. But I loved the fact she’s into books and dreams of becoming a writer or a teacher one day. Torcuil (how do you really pronounce his name?) was an OK character, nice and cared about his family and friends. But despite rooting for love to win, as a fictional character he didn’t conquer my heart. As for the main character, Margherita and her ups and downs, I’m slightly confused. She did annoy me at times and I certainly couldn’t understand her putting up with Ash, but at the same time I could feel she’s trying to make things right. She’s a great mother and very interested in her kids’ lives and how they feel about everything. But she did make me want to give her a bit of a shake, at times. That I admit.
Overall, ‘Set Me Free’ was an enjoyable read, though not my favorite by Ms Sacerdoti. I was happy to meet new characters, see some of the old ones, and generally be back to Glen Avich. If you’re into romance with a bit of supernatural and magic, I do recommend checking it out.
My rating: 6/10