Welcome to my round-up of the books I have loved this year. Today is the turn of Romance, Rom-Com and Historical Fiction.
Yesterday saw my Top Reads for Crime, Thriller, Mystery and also Fiction. You can see this post HERE.
Tomorrow will see the turn of Fantasy, Dystopian, Children’s Books and Non-Fiction. Then on Christmas Eve I will have a Top 10 Books of the Year Post, there is one book that is my #1 Book of 2019.
Many books cross genres, so I have listed these books in the genres that work for me 🤔 For Romance & Rom-Com, these books may not all necessarily have a strong romantic theme, but I love seeing all these wonderful covers side by side – my logic knows no bounds 😂❤
I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Wronged Daughter by Mary Wood. Any regulars to my blog will be aware that I am a huge fan of this author and I have enjoyed every one of her books whether she writes as Mary Wood or Maggie Mason.
The Wronged Daughter is part of a series and is the third book, though all can be read as stand-alones… though I would suggest reading them in order.
Let me show you what this one is all about…
Can she heal the wounds of her past? Mags has never forgotten the friendship she forged with Flora and Ella, two fellow nurses she served with at the beginning of World War I. Haunted by what she experienced during that time, she fears a reunion with her friends would bring back the horror she’s tried so desperately to suppress.
Now, with her wedding on the horizon, this should be a joyful time for Mags. But the sudden loss of her mother and the constant doubt she harbours surrounding her fiancé, Harold, are marring her happiness.
Mags throws herself into running the family mill, but she’s dealt another aching blow by a betrayal that leaves her reeling. Finding the strength the war had taken from her, she fights back, not realizing the consequences and devastating outcome awaiting her.
Every time I pick up a but by this author I am hoplessly addictied within the first page or two, The Wronged Daughter was another one that I immediately felt invested in.
This is the third book in the series and yes you could read it as a stand-alone! But why would you? The series has followed three friends Flors, Elle and Mags, this latest instalment focuses on Mags.
Mags is a fabulous character who showed her resolve when she trained as a nurse and then went to help in Belgium during World War I. On her return she went back to her home and to help in the running of the family business. She is also being swept off her feet by Harold. He is the brother of Flors, and her friend has warned her to be careful of him, but love is blind and he is Oh so charming!
Oh Mags! What a fabulous character she is, one minute I am watching on awe inspired as she deals with the mill and looking after peoples welfare and then the next minute I want to shout into the book to tell her to stop and listen to what other peoples hinting at! My goodness she infuriated me at times! All credit to the Author who brought out such a range of emotions in me while I was reading.
It didn’t take long for me to become interested in the world that had been created for Mags. I got to meet her family and her friends, Betsy, by the way was another brilliant character and in some ways this story was as much about Betsy as it was Mags. Both are entwined in each other as long term friends and so they know each other so well.
Both women have tragedy befall them, while what happens to the women is horrid it is also something that was believable for the time and so it worked well. How vague is that? Oh the pain of not giving out spoilers!
There are various things that happen in the story that are relevant for the time and also the way of things. Even though things have changed, it still annoys me that women became an asset or possession of their husband when they marry. Thank goodness for her forward thinking father! There you go another vague sentence!
The trials and tribulations of Mags seems never ending, when you think she may just find what she wants, the author then does what she does best, and that is to side step the reader and take another unexpected route.
If you have read this author before you will know exactly what I mean. She has a wonderful ability of throwing so much at her characters, it makes the reader care about them but she gets the balance just right. The author delivers a plot that her character can deal with without giving them too much, it keeps the believe-ability of the story flowing.
While the author does put Mags through an awful lot of pain, it has been carefully balanced so that there is also a glimmer of hope and that Mags will indeed have a happy life. Each time you think she will achieve it there is something else to rock the boat. Mixing in other characters and their own problems gives a good perspective of things going on in the lives of others. So it is not just about Mags, I liked how the author mixes various other in as well and it gives different opinions and viewpoints.
I have read a few of Mary’s books, and also books under her other name of Maggie Wood. Whenever I come to write a review I struggle to find the right words to convey just how good her books are. Simply put her books are fabulous, addictive, emotional and definitely fall into the “Must Read” category every time.
With The Wronged Daughter, the author has woven a story that delves into the heartbreaking side of loss within families, also manipulation within marriage and also some surprises from slightly minor characters. She has successfully created a story that shows how women of the 1920’s had to deal with discrimination and stigma.
If you like historical fiction then you will love The Wronged Daughter. It is a book and series I would Highly Recommend.
Born the thirteenth child of fifteen to a middle-class mother and an East End barrow boy, Mary Wood’s family were poor, but rich in love. Over time, she developed a natural empathy with the less fortunate and is fascinated by social history. Mary raised four children and has numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. An avid reader, she first put pen to paper in 1989, and is now a full-time novelist.
I am delighted to share my thoughts with you today for The Raided Heart by Jennifer C Wilson. I would like to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour and also for arrnaging my e-copy of this story.
Check out the #Giveaway later in the post to be in with a chance of winning an e-copy of The Last Plantagenet. You can read my review HERE
Let me show you what it is all about…
Meg Mathers, the headstrong youngest sibling of a reiving family on the English-Scottish border, is determined to remain at her childhood home, caring for the land and village she’s grown up with. When an accident brings her a broken ankle and six weeks in the resentful company of ambitious and angry young reiver Will Hetherington, attraction starts to build. Both begin to realise they might have met their match, and the love of their lives, but 15th century border living is not that simple, as Meg soon finds herself betrothed to the weakling son of a tyrannical neighbour, Alexander Gray. When tragedy strikes, can Meg and Will find their way back to each other, and can Will finally take his own personal revenge on Gray?
The author took me back in history to meet Meg Mathers. She is an essential part of her village and helps organise so many different things in daily life. When she gets accidentally injured by a horse, the owner is charged with helping her. Will isn’t keen to me at the beck and call of Meg, but he also knows it is something he has to do. They have a tentative relationship that gradually grows into a respect for each other and then into something else.
This is a fabulous read that immersed in the setting and time of the story. This is a time where people are wary of being raided and they form alliances for protection.
The author weaves a tale that shows the bond of family as well as of arrangements that are in place to provide support and safety for others. Raiding parties are a constant threat and so marriage is a good way of cementing alliances.
I loved how the author managed to pack quite a lot into her tale and yet kept up a pace that was so suitable. She has successfully woven intrigue and mystery into a story as well as giving the reader a snapshot of history at that time.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and found myself eager to keep flipping the pages. If you like historical fiction that has a addictive story-line, had doubt and intrigue and is a great all round read, then grab a copy of The Raided Heart. It is a book I would definitely recommend.
Jennifer C. Wilson is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history and historical fiction whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots on childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east of England for work reignited her pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and has been working on a number of projects since, including co-hosting the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and her time-slip novella, The Last Plantagenet?, by Ocelot Press. She lives in North Tyneside, and is very proud of her approximately 2-inch sea view.
#GIVEAWAY to Win 2 x e-copies of The Last Plantagenet? (Open Internationally)
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I am delighted to share my thoughts for The Rector’s Daughter by Jean Fullerton with you today. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this wonderful book.
Let me show you all about it…
Charlotte, daughter of Reverend Percival Hatton, has been content to follow the path laid out for her. Charlotte has an understanding with Captain Nicolas Paget – every inch the gentleman – who she expects someday to marry. But then she meets Josiah Martyn, and everything changes…
A driven and ambitious Cornish mining engineer, and the complete opposite to Captain Nicholas, Josiah has come to Londonto help build the first tunnel under the river Thames. When unpredictable events occur at the inauguration of the project, Josiah and Charlotte are suddenly thrown into an unexpected intimacy.
But not everyone is happy with Charlotte and Josiah growing closer. As friends turn to foes, will they be able to rewrite the stars and find their happy ever after, although all odds seem to be stacked against them…?
If you are looking for the ideal book to sit down on a Sunday afternoon then pick up a copy of The Rector’s Daughter by Jean Fullerton because it is fabulous and you will not want ot put it down until you have turned the final page!
Set in 1825 in the Rotherhithe area of London, it is where I meet Charlotte Hatton, the Rector’s daughter. She is a very charitable and is always trying to help those in need. She has an admirer in the form of Captain Paget, a chap I took a dislike to initially and if I am honest my opinion of him didn’t improve.
There are a lot of new people in the area as work to build a tunnel under the Thames is due to begin. One of the workers is Engineer Josiah Martyn a man who has worked his way up from the Cornish mines and learnt his trade. There is a spark between him and Charlotte but they live in different social classes. Charlotte has had her life mapped out and her father believes she should be wed to a man who can provide for her and maintain or better her social standing.
Living and working in the same area, it is inevitable that these two should meet. Josiah is a proud man and has good morals and understands that he is not looked on favourably. But will it be enough!
The story is absolutely addictive, the mentions of the Brunels really does help fix the setting. The various mentions of living and working conditions are fabulous and I love it when an author uses comparisons in a story and Jean does this so well. These comparisons are so well worked into the story and give a wonderful cross-section of society.
The story itself is not straightforward and could have gone in various directions. There are many little twists and ruses on the way that kept this reader eagerly turning the pages. There are several characters that I met in this story, some I liked, some I did not which made for a good balance. I liked the different opinions and attitudes, they are suited for the time and I at times my blood boiled for the way that some of the characters acted and treated others!
The Rector’s Daughter is a fabulous read and I would love to think that there was another book to follow. I hope there is because even though this book finished in a brilliant way I am curious about what could possibly happen next.
A brilliant book that I adored and is perfect for readers of Historical fiction and Romance I would definitely recommend it.
Jean Fullerton is the author of thirteen novels all set in East London where she was born. She also a retired district nurse and university lecturer. She won the Harry Bowling prise in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is half way through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.
I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this wonderful historical fiction book.
Let me show you what it is all about…
Until she knows her husband’s fate, she cannot decide her own… An epic debut novel of forbidden love, loss, and the shattered hearts left behind in the wake of World War I
1921. Families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors of the Great War have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He is considered ‘missing in action’, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph taken by Francis in the post, hope flares. And so she beings to search.
Harry, Francis’s brother, fought alongside him. He too longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last things they ever said. Both brothers shared a love of photography and it is that which brings Harry back to the Western Front. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, as he travels through battle-scarred France gathering news for British wives and mothers, Harry also searches for evidence of his brother.
And as Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to a startling truth.
An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history, The Photographer of the Lost tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins, and the even greater number of men and women desperate to find them again.
Caroline Scott is a freelance writer and historian specializing in WWI and women’s history. The Photographer of the Lost, partially inspired by her family history, is her first novel.
This is such a poignant, sombre, heartbreaking and beautiful story that I cannot do justice to with my review. It is set in 1921 as people are still trying to come to terms with the loss of family during the first world war. Edie is desperate to discover what had happened to Francis her husband, missing presumed dead does not give her any peace of mind. Is he missing, was he killed or was he suffering from amnesia, she wants to know. Harry served in the war along with his brother, Francis. Harry returns to France and photographs places and gravestones for those back home looking for some sort of closure. Harry cannot remember all that happened during the war and suffers from we now know as PTSD.
This was such a haunting read and I do admit it taking me a little while to get into. I did however go back to the synopsis and give it a proper read and it did make things a lot clearer and things started to fall into place easier. Once I got to grips with the style of the story and the characters I discovered such a beautifully written story. It is one that delved into the way people were coming to terms with the loss of their loved ones as well as how those involved in the fighting were dealing with their own trauma.
The author did such a wonderful job with the character of Edie and it really brought home how dealing with the unknown can stop you from living your life. Her personal pilgrimage to various offices, agencies and hospitals to try to find the slightest bit of information about Francis was powerful. A glimmer of hope that flicked and wavered as she went through disappointment of finding nothing.
Harry has his own journey and it is linked to Edies. He had taken his brothers profession and is a photographer. His work means he accepts commissions from those who want to know the final resting place of their loved ones or the last place they were seen. These photographs are the last touch for a family, a chance to say a final goodbye and have something that marks the end of a life.
This is a powerful story, one that deals with the time immediately after the war. People are trying to live and survive with their loss. There is still hope that those who are missing can be found alive. The story does flit between 1921 and as flashbacks to the war so there are two sides to the story and it makes for a very moving and emotional read.
As I said earlier, it did take me a little while to get into, but once in I found it very difficult to put down. If you are looking for a book that deals with WW! and how people are affected than you really should pick this one up, it is definitely worth it and I Definitely Recommend it.
About the Author Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on the landscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France.
See what other Book Bloggers thought by checking out the other stops on the Blog Tour…
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
I am delighted to share my thoughts on Until We Meet again by Rosemary Goodacre. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this wonderful historical fiction book.
Let me show you what it is all about…
Great War drove them apart – but love kept them together
Summer 1914: Shy young woman, Amy Fletcher, lives a quiet life in Sussex. An office worker, she lives at home, along with her parents and spirited younger brother, Bertie. But her life is transformed when she meets handsome young man, Edmond Derwent, son of one of the wealthiest families in the small town of Larchbury, and student at Cambridge University.
The couple are falling deeply in love when war breaks out and, eager to do his duty for England, Edmond signs up as an officer. The couple plan to be wed, eager to start a new life together – but their happiness is short-lived when Edmond is sent to Flanders to lead his men into battle. Amy trains as a VAD nurse and is soon sent to France, where she sees the true horror of war inflicted on the brave young men sent to fight.
Separated by war, Edmond and Amy share their feelings through emotional letters sent from the front line. But when Edmond is critically wounded at Ypres, their love faces the biggest test of all – can their love stay strong while the world around them is crumbling?
A romantic, emotional saga set in WW1 – readers of Rosie Goodwin, Katie Flynn and Val Wood will be captivated by this story of love.
This is the story of Amy and how she met Edmond and it begins just before the start of WWI. They are a couple from different backgrounds, she working class and him from a wealthy background. When war is finally declared Edmond does the honourable thing and signs up and they plan to marry before he goes away. Things however do not quite work out as they should!
This is such a fabulous story that pulls in various things from the time. The Suffragettes and Suffragists, the tensions and fears of the possibility war, people being lost killed or injured in the war and how life must carry on as best it can with a world in turmoil. The author weaves a fabulous story of love and hope in amongst the backdrop of heartbreak and devastation.
I loved the difference of opinion between the two different families. Amy’s’ family are down to earth and humble and they are a contrast to Edmond’s family who hold lavish parties and holiday on the continent. there are some wonderful scenes that are portrayed in the story that highlight these differences, though not so wonderful for Amy.
As Edmond does his duty, Amy feels that she wants to do her part in the war effort and so trains to become a nurse. War affects everyone and so it is for Amy and Edmond when he is wounded. Their spirits are kept strong by letters they write to each other and also from family and friends. This was such an important part of peoples lives as it was the only way of keeping in touch. The real hardships were kept out of these communications and so what people were really going through often went unsaid.
This is a story that is captivating and is a beautiful story of young love that has its challenges against the horror of war. The author captures moments of their story through the letters and also of their brief and infrequent visits.
This is a story that I loved and did shed a tear or two for, it is emotional but also very down to earth in the way it is written, by this I mean it is a story of two people who have met and fallen in love but have a sense of duty to their country.
The author does not over dramatise the wounded and the battlefield situations but does enough to provide a good general picture of life and conditions.
If you like historical fiction and romance then I really do think that you will enjoy this one, I know I certainly did and I Definitely recommend it.
has previously worked in computing and teaching. She has had short
stories published and a novella, A Fortnight is not Enough.
Her father’s family came from continental Europe and she loves travelling. She enjoys country walking, bridge and classical music. She lives with her husband in Kent, England.
I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my thoughts with you all today for Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb. This is such a stunning story that I absolutely fell in love with.
I bought a copy for my kindle, but I am also going to get a paperback when it is published at the beginning of September, it’s that good!
Let’s see what it is all about…
Set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and glamourous wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb take the reader on an evocative sun-drenched journey along the Côte d’Azur in this page-turning novel of passion, fate, and second-chances.
Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique, fending off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.
James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.
What an absolutely brilliant read this was. Set in the 1950’s of Monaco, it has a wonderful atmosphere in the era of Grace Kelly and her meeting with Prince Rainier. The authors have blended a little fact with the fiction to create a stunning and highly addictive story.
The setting is wonderful adding a little of luxury of the country, with the film star and life style of the iconic and well known film star Grace Kelly.
I was introduced to perfumer Sophie Duval and photographer James Henderson. This happens as Grace seeks sanctuary in Sophie’s shop trying to avoid the press and photographers. Over the course of the story that follows I gradually got to know more about the friendship that forms between Sophie and James. They just never quite seem to get together at the right time, there always seems to be something that gets in the way.
For James, photography is his passion, but snapping celebs is not what he wants to do. He wants scenery and locations, not easy when there is someone at home that also needs his time.
Sophie is being pressured to sell her business, a business that she took over from her father. The business is in her bones and her soul, it is everything that makes her who she is.
This is such a stunning story and the authors have captured the feel and atmosphere so well. The visuals that they have conjured up made it so easy for me to imagine so many things from, dresses to scenery they made it seem effortless. There is a romantic tension that builds up between Sophie and James, and as much as I wanted to see them together early on I was glad that the authors kept pulling them apart.
The emotion of the story was something that gradually built up and by the end of the book the dam finally burst. I was in tears and not for the reason that you are probably thinking!
There are notes at the end of the book that gave some extra’s into the life of Grace Kelly as well as about perfumes and how the book came to be. I must admit I did spend quite a bit of time after finishing the book, Googling Grace and her life, I wasn’t quite ready to turn the last page on Grace at that moment and needed to read more about this beautiful lady.
This is a book that I would absolutely recommend.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be fabulous 🙂 xx
I am delighted to share my review with you for Before the Rains by Dinah Jeffries. A historical fiction/romance set in 1930 India. This is one of my picks for the #20Books of Summer Reading Challenge and is number 7/20.
Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…
A romantic, heart-wrenching tale of love against the odds from the Number One Sunday Times bestselling author
1930, Rajputana, India. Since her husband’s death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza’s only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she’s determined to make a name for herself.
But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince’s handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families – and society – think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what’s expected, or following their hearts. . .
This is my first time reading a book by this author and after reading Before the Rains, it will not be my last time.
Eliza is a photographer who gets a year-long job opportunity to take photographs of the Royal Family in Rajputana, India in 1930. It is a chance for her to hone her craft and hope to arrange an exhibition that could lead to further work.
The story is that mainly of Eliza. It tells of her childhood growing up in India as part of the British occupation. After leaving India after the death of her father she has the chance to return and it is on this return that she photographs.
At the palace, she meets several members of the family including Jay the Prince and next-in-line to the throne. Jay is more progressive in his thinking than other members of his family, though he still holds firm to some traditions. Jay and Eliza gradually get to know each other and he almost takes her under his wing, showing her things outside of the palace that she would otherwise not have seen. This friendship slowly grows and a more romantic aspect, it is not a sudden thing, instead, it has a tension that smoulders.
The author has some fabulous scenery descriptions and she describes the colours and sights to a point that I could imagine what she was explaining. Details of culture, religion and, traditions are touched upon and these are heartbreaking and also real eye-openers. It adds to the suspicion around Eliza she being not only British but also a widow. Speaking of suspicion, it is everywhere in the palace and outside of the palace and from various sources. The tension of the time is brought out very well, as India wants the British to be gone and they can rule themselves again.
This is a very immersive and a compelling book to read. I did think that it wrapped up a little too conveniently but saying that it did give a satisfying ending. Along with friendships and liaisons, there is also a good amount of drama, tension, conspiracy and heartbreak. The clash of culture between India and Britain is dealt with well and gives an impression from both sides. Another large clash is that of the social classes, from the extreme poverty to the extreme opulence of those in the palace.
This is a really good read that I found quite addictive, and it is one I would definitely recommend to readers who like historical fiction and romance.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx
I am delighted to be sharing my review for Blackberry & Wild Rose by Sonia Velton. I have had this on my kindle for a little while now and I am so glad I chose to read it, it is a stunning story.
Let’s see what it’s all about…
WHEN Esther Thorel, the wife of a Huguenot silk-weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel she thinks she is doing God’s will. Sara is not convinced being a maid is better than being a whore, but the chance to escape her grasping ‘madam’ is too good to refuse.
Inside the Thorels’ tall house in Spitalfields, where the strange cadence of the looms fills the attic, the two women forge an uneasy relationship. The physical intimacies of washing and dressing belie the reality: Sara despises her mistress’s blindness to the hypocrisy of her household, while Esther is too wrapped up in her own secrets to see Sara as anything more than another charitable cause.
It is silk that has Esther so distracted. For years she has painted her own designs, dreaming that one day her husband will weave them into reality. When he laughs at her ambition, she strikes up a relationship with one of the journeyman weavers in her attic who teaches her to weave and unwittingly sets in motion events that will change the fate of the whole Thorel household.
Why have I waited so long to pick this book up? A fabulous Historical Fiction that has a smattering of romance, once I started it I didn’t want to step away from it for a second.
Starting in 1768 as a naive Sarah Kemp arrives at Spitalfields, London. She is basically scammed and is tricked into working in a brothel. With no prospect of leaving because of mounting debts, she is fortunate indeed that Esther Thorel takes a chance on Sarah and gives her employment.
Esther is the wife of a Huguenot Silk Master. She is the dutiful wife who fills her days with painting, embroidery and charitable works. A journeyman silk weaver works in her home. During the day he works on his employers’ silks, in his own time he works on his own with the hope that he will be able to become a Master himself. Seeing him work, Esther has an idea of her own.
I immediately felt wrapped up in this novel. Sarah was so naive and I felt for her and the situation she finds herself in. Esther I didn’t immediately take to, she felt a little too goody two shoes for me. It isn’t until the arrival of Sarah into the household that I saw a different side to Esther asnd my opinion of her definitely changed. In some ways, the women have similarities in their naiveness, but gradually they bring out the best in each other. They gain a sort of strength from each other.
It is soon apparent that as much as the household looks like it runs smoothly, there is a tension lying just below the surface. The tensions of the silk weaving community gradually make themselves known as silk prices fall due to cheaper calico imports. It threatens not only the silk masters but also the lower down the ladder weavers.
The author has done a great job of incorporating some of the techniques and terms of silk weaving into the story. It has literally been woven in strand by strand to create a stunning story. It compliments the story of the two women so well. Not only giving a great story but also something new that I was able to learn about.
The setting mixes the contrasts between the different social classes, the workers and the masters. Using the tension of the cheaper imports to build tension and an air of unrest in the community that also affects homelife.
This is a stunning story that took many surprising turns, it was insightful and an absolute pleasure to read. If you love Historical Fiction then you really should pick this one up, totally absorbing and addictive.
This is a book with such a stunning cover that I am probably going to buy the hardback even though I own the e-book version!
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
I am delighted and also saddened to share my review for Dear Jane by Allie Cresswell. Delighted to read the next book in The Highbury Trilogy and saddened because it is the final book in the trilogy!
I have loved all three books and if you have not yet had a chance to read them and you like Austen’s Emma, then have a look at the book by Allie, she has used Emma as the inspiration behind them and has done such a wonderful and beautiful job. It has been my absolute pleasure to read each one.
Let’s have a look and see what Dear Jane is all about…
The final instalment of the Highbury trilogy, Dear Jane recounts events hinted at but never actually described in Jane Austen’s Emma; the formative childhood years of Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill, their meeting in Weymouth and the agony of their secret engagement.
Orphaned Jane seems likely to be brought up in parochial Highbury until adoption by her papa’s old friend Colonel Campbell opens to her all the excitement and opportunities of London. Frank Weston is also transplanted from Highbury, adopted as heir to the wealthy Churchills and taken to their drear and inhospitable Yorkshire estate. Readers of Emma will be familiar with the conclusion of Jane and Frank’s story, but Dear Jane pulls back the veil which Jane Austen drew over its remainder.
I had been looking forward to reading the final instalment of the Highbury Trilogy, and now I have I do feel a little sad that it is over.
The Trilogy started with Mrs. Bates of Highbury, followed by The Other Mrs. Bates and finally ending with Dear Jane. Each story has takes on a main character and explores their family, friends and acquaintances. Dear Jane focuses on Jane Fairfax, she had a minor role in Emma and Allie Cresswell has made her into the major role, and I will add she has done it superbly.
Jane is taken in by the Campbells and is treated like a daughter with all the privileges that come with one whom lives within a certain class in society. Jane is to be a companion to the Campbell’s daughter Rowenna. Jane’s life is mapped out for her and she is well aware that at some point in the future she will have to make her own way in the world.
I absolutely loved this story, well let me be honest I have loved the whole trilogy. The author has captured the tone and writing style I like when I read the older classic lit books. I love to read about the “ladies”, I say ladies but often they are very far from lady-like with their barbed comments. there are several of these comments within the book as even though some see Jane as an equal, not everyone does.
Dear Jane is told over several years and follows Jane and Rowenna, I have to say that Jane has the patience of a saint as she coaxes Rowenna. But actually even though Rowenna was a bit of a pain, I also really liked her and got to understand her shyness and insecurities.
With society and the standing within society being so important with those in the upper echelons there is a focus on marriage, or rather how much will be brought into a marriage, both on a monetary and also positional platform. Marriage is a business deal rather than one of love, though there is love. Who falls in love and with whom is something I will let you discover for yourselves!
Romance, courtship and falling breathlessly and hopelessly in love is in equal measure with many a furtive glance, stifled giggles and the occasional swoon. Though things often appear to be simple it is not always the case. For some the road to marriage and love appears straightforward but those behind the scenes may have had a hand to stay the route, keeping the recipients unawares.
The story just oozes that old classic literature style. The mannerisms, dress and fashion, conversation style, society and etiquette all feel so right. Mix into this a storyline that has uncertainties, heartbreak, hope and trouble and that was me hooked and avidly reading.
I would say you could read each as a stand-alone, but you know what… Just go and get the whole trilogy and then just sit down, put your feet up and just relax and read.
This book, well, the whole trilogy gets a Highly Recommended from me.
was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she
could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in
English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary
She has been a
print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a
group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time
having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two
grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two
cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW