Carved in Stone by Jen SilverCarved in Stone by Jen Silver is the third and final book in the contemporary romance, Starling Hill trilogy. Ellie Winters is hearing the voice of a 2,000-year-old Queen whose remains were found on her farm several years ago. The Queen wants her remains to have a proper burial and has chosen Ellie for the task. Ellie’s wife isn’t convinced and thinks she may be suffering from some kind of mental breakdown.

The Characters 

In the first book, Starting Over, a group of characters converge at Starling Hill Farm. When I finish a novel, I often want to know a bit more about a favorite side character and Jen Silver’s trilogy quenches that thirst by focusing on a few characters in each book. All the characters appear in each book, but the story spotlight shines on a different few in each book. The ancient Queen Cartimandua gets to tell part of her story in the final book and I loved the bits of history. Jo Bright Flame also get some attention – love her name — and she has a van and a craft booth.

The Writing Style 

The author has many characters to juggle and she does it well. I’m never lost in time or trying to figure out who is speaking or where they are. The story is spot on navigating the world of lesbian friends, lovers, and frenemies and the many various ways they connect, disconnect and interconnect. Nicely done.

The Pros 

I loved the bits of history and the setting in Northern England. This series allows you to get to know the characters, you fall for them, get irritated with them, forgive them, and fall for them all over again. See more “Pros” in my review of Starting Over, book one and Arc Over Time, book two.

The Cons 

The large chunks of backstory in the third book interrupted the flow of the story for me, and I thought much of it was unnecessary.

The Conclusion 

I liked all three books and this one was no exception. Every character’s storyline had a beginning, middle and conclusion that felt satisfying for this reader. You can read the first book, Starting Over, as a stand-alone. But the other two don’t work as well as stand-alones, you really need to read them as part of the trilogy.

Excerpt from Carved in Stone by Jen Silver

Ash cycled past the lane again. A twenty-mile ride had seemed like a good idea on this fine autumn afternoon and she found herself drawn to the hills above Huddersfield. It had nothing to do with the thought of seeing a certain brown eyed woman with a warm smile who looked pretty good even at four-thirty in the morning when she was wearing a baggy sweatshirt and jeans that had been hastily thrown on.  Jo’s appearance at the market the day before hadn’t been enhanced by the collection of mismatched garments she’d been wearing, but there was something about her that was keeping Ash awake at night.

The last time she had been this way on her bike was during the club’s evening ride when she’d had to endure twenty minutes pumping up hill with Shona Gibson’s lycra-encased butt in her eye-line. Normally that was a view she would have enjoyed, but she and Shona weren’t on the best of terms these days.

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The Starling Hill trilogy by Jen Silver

Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9780908351787
  • Publisher: Affinity E-Book Press NZ LTD, May 2016

Jen Silver Online 

Note: I received a free review copy of Carved in Stone by Jen Silver. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.