Emmie doesn't know much about her family history other than there are secrets hidden from each new generation. But, with her daughter growing up and life moving away from her she decides it's time to investigate the world her grandfather left hidden for so long.
Legend Press were wonderful enough to include me in their blog tour for this publication, it was published 3rd May 2021 and is wonderfully charming. If you want to get your copy and support your local bookshops, use this link: https://uk.bookshop.org/a/2505/9781789559019
The other wonderful bloggers are on this graphic and you should definitely check out their reviews!
I was blown away by how much I enjoyed the format of this book, it is one of my favourite things when discovering a novel isn't just standard prose but incorporates different ways of telling a story. 'The Ash Museum' adds a sense of realism that is often missing in novels that travel between time periods to tell a character's story, by using report cards, letters, newspaper clippings, Smith creates the titular concept, a museum of information that encapsulates the reader and drops them in to the world of the Ash family.
Initially, the characters felt a little flat, their lives were the focus of the novel but they didn't come across of having lives outside of the story itself, but, as the story progressed I fell in love with Emmie and her personality. As her life moved on I still enjoyed the references to her family and their lives but I wanted more and more of Emmie, her characterisation was perfect, following her from a child wondering why she was different to Sue Namely, to a grown woman who is finding herself in her own world, was the most charming story I've read in a long time.
Smith brings together the history of a seemingly average family to give us an extraordinary tale of discovering your heritage, family connections and the importance of staying true to your own journey.