The Curiosity Cabinet

  • by Catherine Czerkawska
  • Narrated by Carolyn Bonnyman
  • 8 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Returning to the Hebridean island of Garve after 35 years, Alys falls in love with Donal, her childhood playmate. Interwoven with their story is that of Henrietta, held on an island against her will 300 years earlier. Linking the women are an enchanting embroidered curiosity cabinet, the tug of motherhood, and the island itself.


What the Critics Say

"A powerful story about love and obligation, set in the Western isles...bringing together historical facts and contemporary life...a persuasive novel very well written." (John Burnside)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent Reading Performance

In this case I’m very glad I bought the Audible book along with the Kindle edition, because the reading by Carolyn Bonnyman is excellent. The novel is set in the Hebrides (on a small fictional island named Garve) and it enhanced the total experience to listen to it read in a Scottish accent by someone who could even manage the occasional quotes in Gaelic. I think it’s a book I’m likely to listen to again just for the joy of a good reading performance.

The book interweaves two stories:

Alys, from modern-day Edinburgh, revisits the small (fictional) Hebridean island of Garve after twenty five years. She is divorced and misses her son who is on holiday elsewhere with his father and his new wife. On Garve, Alys gets reaquainted with Donal, an old playmate from holidays back in their childhood. In the hotel where Alys is staying, she also gets fascinated by an old embroidered cabinet on display. This turns out to have connection to Donal’s family.

The cabinet also turns up in the parallell story of a woman who was brought to the island three hundred years earlier; and Donal’s forefather Manus.

Compared to some other back-and-forth-in-time novels I’ve been reading lately, this one has less focus on mystery, and more on romance. The two stories, present and past, run parallell rather than being all tangled up. (And yet…) Even if perhaps the book’s strongest point is not the “plot”, I still found it a good read.
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- MonicaT

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-29-2006
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Ltd