BookReview THE NIGHT SHIP by JESS KIDD #TheNightShip

ABOUT THE BOOK

Based on a real-life event, an epic historical novel from the award-winning author of Things in Jars that illuminates the lives of two characters: a girl shipwrecked on an island off Western Australia and, three hundred years later, a boy finding a home with his grandfather on the very same island.

1629: A newly orphaned young girl named Mayken is bound for the Dutch East Indies on the Batavia, one of the greatest ships of the Dutch Golden Age. Curious and mischievous, Mayken spends the long journey going on misadventures above and below the deck, searching for a mythical monster. But the true monsters might be closer than she thinks.

1989: A lonely boy named Gil is sent to live off the coast of Western Australia among the seasonal fishing community where his late mother once resided. There, on the tiny reef-shrouded island, he discovers the story of an infamous shipwreck…​

With her trademark “thrilling, mysterious, twisted, but more than anything, beautifully written” (Graham Norton, New York Times bestselling author) storytelling, Jess Kidd weaves a unputdownable and charming tale of friendship and sacrifice, brutality and forgiveness.

PUBLISHED BY CANONGATE BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK

Waterstones

MY REVIEW

Loved. Loved. Loved!!!


An astonishing piece of historical fiction that had me under its’ spell from page one and still has me mesmerized even now!! Jess Kidd has a wonderful way of storytelling, and I think this might be her best yet. Told over 2 timelines, featuring 2 amazing child characters who lived so far apart timewise, but had so much in common. Their stories will break your heart and inspire and I’m already itching to read it all over again!

This story is based on real life events, and starts in 1628 with Mayken who is travelling on board the Batavia with her nursemaid to a new life overseas. She has never met her father but is travelling to join him after the passing of her mother.

And in 1989, we meet the character of Gil, who is a lost soul after losing his mother and he’s travelling to live with his grandfather who lives on an Island and makes a living fishing. The Island is where the Batavia ran aground causing a huge loss of life.

The switching timelines work in tandem to perfection – the excitement of Mayken, the trepidation of Gil, as they both set out on different paths and exploring the loss of their mothers and the impact that has on them as very young children.

It’s a book that made me lose time as I just became so involved in the lives of these characters! From the settings, the complexity of family relationships to the pure emotion as you watch over these children as they’re faced with all kinds of challenges.

I could easily wax lyrical for hours about this book as it was just a sheer delight to read from start to finish, but I won’t so you can enjoy the drama of it all for yourself – cannot recommend it highly enough and easily one of my most favourite books of 2022.

★★★★★

BookReview ITHACA by CLAIRE NORTH @ClaireNorth42 @orbitbooks @Gambit589

ABOUT THE BOOK

‘The greatest power we woman can own, is that we take in secret . . . ‘

Seventeen years ago, king Odysseus sailed to war with Troy, taking with him every man of fighting age from the island of Ithaca. None of them have returned, and the women have been left behind to run the kingdom.

Penelope was barely into womanhood when she wed Odysseus. Whilst he lived, her position was secure. But now, years on, speculation is mounting that husband is dead, and suitors are starting to knock at her door . . .

But no one man is strong enough to claim Odysseus’ empty throne – not yet. Between Penelope’s many suitors, a cold war of dubious alliances and hidden knives reigns, as everyone waits for the balance of power to tip one way or another. If Penelope chooses one from amongst them, it will plunge Ithaca into bloody civil war. Only through cunning and her spy network of maids can she maintain the delicate balance of power needed for the kingdom to survive.

On Ithaca, everyone watches everyone else, and there is no corner of the palace where intrigue does not reign . . .

published by ORBIT BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Goldsboro Books – signed edition

Amazon

MY REVIEW

I found this to be a wonderfully illuminating re-tellng of Greek mythology that explores the woman, Penelope, behind the man, Odysseus, who came to the fore and has strong touches of feminism and showing the strengths of women in a very male dominated world.  Dismiss these women at your peril!

The story of Penelope is an intriguing one, and hearing her voice, mostly through the observations of Hera, was fascinating to see how she set about dealing with the loss of her husband, and the clamour around her to take over power. She’s also dealing with her son, Telemachus, who is full of that male pride and wanting to make sense of it all and make his father proud. There are different POV’s of various characters but their voices blend in to make the story so fresh, and really connected with me despite my lack of knowledge of a lot of greek mythology – this story has really made me more fascinated about it all and I now want to know more!

I loved the theme throughout of the strong women and ruthless men. Women were always undervalued or not ‘seen’ but these female characters all showed all the sides to them – supportive and ready to sabotage.. Hera being the narrator also gave an overview of other characters and showing the challenges they faced.

At the heart of the story is a tale of a family dealing with power and loss, and although it’s mostly about the female characters, I did find the story of the son really fascinating and it was good to have that different feel to his story.

This is a story of love and loss, rivalry and revenge, feasts and fights, brutality and betrayal and I found myself totally immersed in the world and the story is set up so nicely for book 2 – I can’t wait!!

★★★★★

My thanks to the team at Orbit Books for the proof copy which  I received in return for a fair and honest review.  The cross stitch kit too was fabulous and I need more book cover cross stitch kits in my life!

20BooksOfSummer2022 Triple Review Catch up!! #BookReviews


Anyone else reading/reviewing like a crazy person at the moment so they can complete their #20BOOKSOFSUMMER2022 challenge??!! Just me then LOL!! I will not be defeated and if that means giving up on sleep then so be it haha!! 

So here’s a catch up of 3 recent reviews I’ve just completed… .before I attack the next batch LOL!

WE ARE ANIMALS by TIM EWINS  – 5 STARS

This is book 14 of my 20 books of summer 2022.

This was a joy to read! One of those books that gets the balance between emotion and humour just perfect and full of characters that you instantly find yourself connecting with, however quirky they may be!!

(Man)Jan is waiting on a beach in Goa, and has been visiting there for 5 years hoping to reconnect with the love of his life (Lady)Jan. Already you get the sense of a deep connection that they shared and wondering why they lost touch. And that is where Shakey comes in, a young man on a gap year, who finds this character on a beach fascinating and wants to know more about him. And so (Man)Jan begins to share his story and your own journey begins as he looks back and shares those moments we can all relate to – the missed moments, human connection, fate intervening and taking you on a different path – and the poignant connection throughout with animals.

I loved the quirky humour and the wonderful little observations littered throughout the story. It connected the 2 generations with that feeling of finding yourself as you adventure through life. The family relationships were also touching to read too – beware it’s a book that makes you laugh and cry! Or maybe that’s just me being a softie!!

Do yourself a favour and grab a copy of this book!!!

TULIP FEVER by DEBORAH MOGGACH – 3 STARS

This is Book 15 of my 20 Books of Summer 2022.

An enjoyable historical read of romance and deception, with a clever inclusion of artwork from the times in colour which added a bit of depth and context of the styles of painting at the time.

17th Century Amsterdam is where the story is set and the country is gripped by Tulip mania, which means there’s money to be made. Sophia is married to the very wealthy, and much older, Cornelius and he is the kind of character who wants to show off his wealth, and one way is to commission a painting to preserve him and his family on canvas. So he hires Jan, and the trouble begins! Sophia finds herself spending more time with the artist than her husband.

Maria is the maid for Sophia and Cornelius and her story is included too which worked really well within the story. How her own struggles and issues became central to the story, and you get the sense that karma has a big part to play for some characters!

This was a quick and easy to read historical story – I would have loved more about the tulip mania!

STEALING ROSES by HEATHER COOPER – 4 STARS

This is Book 16 of my 20 Books of Summer 2022.

A slow paced but wonderful little read, centring around Eveline who is not playing ball with her mother, and societies, wishes for a young woman in 1862! Her mother wants to marry her off, as is the normal way of life at the time, but Eveline doesn’t want to settle for marriage and motherhood and feels stifled by the restrictions placed upon her.

An interest in photography and an objection to the new local railway are her path to make her voice heard and sets her on a new path that is looked down upon by many. How improper to take a walk with a man, especially while hatless!! The horror haha!

I enjoyed the historical aspect of this story, along with the setting of the Isle of Wight. The restrictions placed on women were also fascinating and the growth of Eveline as she tried to change the opinion of others was also really interesting and eye opening. Especially the changing behaviour of certain characters who behave one way in public and then show a real dark side to their personality.

#BlogTour ACTS OF LOVE AND WAR by MAGGIE BROOKES #publicationdaypost @marielouisespp @centurybooksuk @Maggie__Brookes

Delighted to be with you today to tell you about a wonderful book out today!! I’m currently reading this, and loving every single page, so hope to share my thoughts in a review in the days to come!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

1936. Civil war in Spain. A world on the brink of chaos . . .

21-year-old Lucy feels content with her life in Hertfordshire – not least because she lives next door to Tom and Jamie, two very different brothers for whom she has equally great affection.

But her comfortable life is turned upside down when Tom decides he must travel to Spain to fight for the Democratic party in the bloody Spanish Civil War. He is quickly followed by Jamie who, much to Lucy’s despair, is supporting General Franco and his Fascist party.

To the dismay of her irascible father, Lucy decides that the only way to bring her boys back safely is to travel to Spain herself to persuade them to come home.

Yet when she sees the horrific effects of the war, she quickly becomes immersed in the lifesaving work the Quakers are doing to help the civilian population, many of whom are refugees.

As the war progresses and the situation becomes increasingly perilous, Lucy realises that the challenge going forward is not so much which brother she will end up with, but whether any of them will survive the carnage long enough to decide . .

.PUBLISHED BY CENTURY

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon


Blackwell’s

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maggie Brookes is a British ex-journalist and BBC television producer turned poet and novelist.


The Prisoner’s Wife is based on an extraordinary true story of love and courage, told to her by an ex-WW2 prisoner of war. Maggie visited the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany as part of her research for the book, learning largely forgotten aspects of the war.
The Prisoner’s Wife is due to be published by imprints of Penguin Random House in the UK and in the US in May 2020. Publication in other countries, including Holland, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic will follow.


As well as being a writer, Maggie is an advisory fellow for the Royal Literary Fund and also an Associate Professor at Middlesex University, London, England, where she has taught creative writing since 1990. She lives in London and Whitstable, Kent and is married, with two grown-up daughters.


She has published five poetry collections in the UK under her married name of Maggie Butt. Poetry website: www.maggiebutt.co.uk

#BlogTour THE DAISY CHAIN by AL CAMPBELL #BookReview @RedDoorBooks

Delighted to be joining you today as part of the Blog Tour for the wonderful THE DAISY CHAIN by AL CAMPBELL.

My thanks to the author and publisher for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Kew Gardens, 1771. Four women – the first is Daisy, a talented orphaned botanical painter and scientist, newly arrived in London from Suffolk. The second is Fanny, her sister, locked in a loveless marriage with an oafish nobleman. The third, Kate, is an enslaved black lady’s maid. The fourth, Charlotte, Queen of England, uncomplaining but confined to a life bearing King George 15 children.

When Daisy meets eminent scientist Joseph Banks and not only becomes Artist in Residence at Kew Gardens, but ‘Lady-in-Painting’ to Queen Charlotte, life changes for everybody. However, whilst expecting a quiet and studious life, Daisy is unwittingly inveigled into espionage, tea smuggling and the ‘triangular trade’ by mysterious Dutchman Johannes Van der Humm.

When a fabulous flower is discovered in South Africa and sent back to Kew for the Queen’s birthday, the women little guess it offers a route to freedom. But only if Daisy can foil a plot to steal it from under the King’s nose. Who is friend and who is foe? Can she work out whom to trust before disaster strikes?

Set in an incredibly exciting period of history, The Daisy Chain is a pacy debut novel, brimming with adventure and romance.

PUBLISHED BY RED DOOR PRESS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

PUBLISHER WEBSITE SHOP

MY REVIEW

This was a wonderful historical romp! Combining my love of gardening, with some strong female characters, this was an exciting read from start to finish and does a wonderful job of transporting you back in time to a fascinating period of history and takes a look back at some of the excitement while new plants were being discovered, alongside the more questionable events of those years involving slavery.


After the death of her father Daisy has no option but to move to London to live with her sister and her unsufferable husband.  She becomes governess to her niece, but her true love is her artwork and she soon finds her work gets noticed in high places.  One of those being by the director of Kew Gardens who invites her to work for them, cataloguing all the new flowers and plants.


While there she ‘blossoms’ and becomes confidante to a royal visitor and I loved how the women were at the fore of this story!  She also catches the eye of a mystery Dutchman and finds herself wondering just who to trust.. one person definitely not worthy of trust is her sisters’ husband! Awful man!!


This book worked for me on many levels – especially that of the plant links alongside the royal mix!  And the fact that the story ventures into the darker side of life at the time with slavery and smuggling really added to the mix. It also gave a good insight into the excitement of the times with new things being discovered in far off lands and brought to these shores.


An exciting historical debut – looking forward to more from this author in the future!


★★★★

#BookReview THE LEVIATHAN by ROSIE ANDREWS

ABOUT THE BOOK

The most beguiling debut of 2022, perfect for fans of The Essex Serpent, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock and The Binding.
She is awake…

Norfolk, 1643. With civil war tearing England apart, reluctant soldier Thomas Treadwater is summoned home by his sister, who accuses a new servant of improper conduct with their widowed father. By the time Thomas returns home, his father is insensible, felled by a stroke, and their new servant is in prison, facing charges of witchcraft.

Thomas prides himself on being a rational, modern man, but as he unravels the mystery of what has happened, he uncovers not a tale of superstition but something dark and ancient, linked to a shipwreck years before.

Something has awoken, and now it will not rest.

Richly researched, incredibly atmospheric, and deliciously unsettling, The Leviathan is set in England during a time of political turbulence and religious zealotry. It is a tale of family and loyalty, superstition and sacrifice, but most of all it is a spellbinding story of impossible things.

PUBLISHED BY RAVEN BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

Blackwell’s – signed edition

MY REVIEW

I found this to be an enthralling piece of historical fiction, with some brilliant supernatural/witchcraft elements that didn’t feel too out of place considering the time period that the story was set in. It centres around a family whose life is torn apart by some strange incidents, leaving the cynical brother Thomas to start his own investigations as to what may have took place in his home while he was away fighting in the English Civil War.

The timeline does jump around a bit which does take a bit of getting used to, but definitely adds to the twists and turns throughout the story and keeps you on your toes as a reader trying to work out where the story will take you to next. With witchcraft the hot topic of the time, the focus of the intrigue always leads you down that path, but Thomas isn’t one to look so kindly on hearsay and he wants to see for himself and isn’t easily swayed by local gossip.

It’s a turbulent time in the country, and that turbulence plays out in his own family with his sister calling him home after their father is felled by a stroke and Thomas needs to be there to take over the farm. His sister tells him of the ‘evil’ servant who she blames for this and says her father was bewitched. There’s an awful lot of dead animals around too at the farm and the weirdness just overwhelms them.

There’s also a later timeline to follow when Thomas is married to Mary and he has a different kind of life now, but the past never seems to be so far away and I loved that different viewpoint and stage in his life. The intrigue throughout was really well pitched and you could sense the fear of the locals of the unknown.

I loved this story from start to finish – the darkness, the gasps it made me emit throughout and it really does a great job of keeping that historical feel, alongside the myths and faith that were at the fore of society. A stunning debut!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour THE PRINCE OF THE SKIES by ANTONIO ITURBE #BookReview #ThePrinceoftheSkies @panmacmillan @RandomTTours

Delighted to be with you today on this wonderful Blog Tour for THE PRINCE OF THE SKIES by ANTONIO ITURBE. 
My thanks to the author,publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it to share my thoughts!


ABOUT THE BOOK

WRITER. ROMANTIC. PILOT. HERO. 

From the bestselling author of The Librarian of Auschwitz comes another captivating historical novel based on a true story – the extraordinary life and mysterious death of. 

Only the best pilots are given jobs at Latécoère – the company destined to become Aéropostale. The successful candidates include Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A man whose desire to fly will put him at odds with his aristocratic family and the girl who loves him – but who wants to keep him grounded. Together with his friends Jean and Henri, they will change the history of aviation and pioneer new mail routes across the world. But Antoine is also destined to touch the lives of millions of readers with his story The Little Prince. 

But as war begins to threaten Europe, is Antoine’s greatest adventure yet to come . . .?

 Translated by Lilit Žekulin Thwaites, this is a novel about love and friendship, war and heroism and the power of the written word. 

PUBLISHED BY MACMILLAN

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ANTONIO ITURBE was born in 1967 and grew up in the dock-side neighbourhood of Barceloneta, in Barcelona. His first novel The Librarian of Auschwitz was the number one selling book in translation in the UK last year. It has been translated into 30 languages and has sold over 600K copies internationally.

 Having grown up reading Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s books, Iturbe was inspired to write about the author’s extraordinary life. He conducted extensive research and, despite suffering from vertigo, even flew in a biplane so he would understand how it felt to fly. Iturbe hopes to translate not only the facts but also the poetry of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s writing in The Prince of the Skies.

MY REVIEW

Epic. Emotional. Thrilling!  Wow! What a read this has been!! I loved The Librarian of Auschwitz so have been so eager to read this book and it has not disappointed!  

This is the story of the author of The Little Prince (another favourite read of mine!) and his story has all the elements needed for an astonishing story.  This is a man who was born to fly!  And his dreams came true but didn’t run smoothly, and that adds to the drama throughout.

The author does a brilliant job of capturing the essence of a man who was completely driven in his quest to be in the skies.  He also showed how much writing meant to him, but flying was his true passion.  It charts his exploits from the beginning of his flying career – the good and bad! – alongside his personal life which was never the easiest.

Alongside his story, we also get the story of his 2 closest friends, Henri and Jean, and I loved how they were all such different characters but bonded over their love of flying. That’s when they were all at their happiest!  It charts some very distressing, dark times for them all but there was always that hope in them that things would come right.  They flew all over the world, facing new challenges along the way but never being disheartened when all went wrong.

I got totally caught up with the lives of these men! It is one of those books that is full of adventure and action, but showed their real characters too when their feet were on the ground and the issues they faced both professionally and personally.  Their lives were anything but dull!!

A true delight to read! It is exhilarating, magical and an incredible story! A must read and one of my books of 2021!!

★★★★★

#BookReview PEOPLE LIKE US by LOUISE FEIN #historicalfiction



ABOUT THE BOOK


For fans of The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See, a spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.

As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her.

Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures.

Will the steady march of dark forces destroy Hetty’s universe—or can love ultimately triumph…?

Propulsive, deeply affecting, and inspired by the author’s family history, Daughter of the Reich is a mesmerizing page-turner filled with vivid characters and a meticulously researched portrait of Nazi Germany. In this riveting story of passion, courage and morality, Louise Fein introduces a bold young woman determined to tread the treacherous path of survival and freedom, showing readers the strength in the power of love and reminding us that the past must never be forgotten.


PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM MORROW & COMPANY

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW

Just brilliant!! This is one of those books that makes you feel a whole range of emotions and you get so caught up in the storyline that you forget what is going on around you!

This is the story of Hetty, a young girl growing up in Germany during the rise of Hitler. She’s the daughter of a high ranking Nazi so is well versed in the propaganda that was being circulated at that time. And why would she not believe all that her family tell her!? Life is treating them well so there’s no need for them to show concern. The cult like status Hitler has amongst the youth in particular has them turning on their own family if they dare to share an opinion against the regime….

The abuse against the jewish community is laid bare for all to see as the story unfolds – from the school teachers to people out walking their dogs, their treatment is appalling, and as Hetty starts to question why she is being taught to hate, she is forced to deal with the fact that her friend Walter is a Jew and all contact with him must be stopped.

I absolutely adored the character of Hetty. You really see her start to question her own feelings and judgements as she sees what is going on around her and the realisation that all she’s been told isn’t the truth was powerful and life changing for her.

This book took me all over the place emotionally and that’s what kept me turning the pages! Wondering how her story would play out and seeing how time and perceptions were changing around her added to the heightened tension at times. Wonderfully told – highly recommended!!


★★★★★

#BookReview THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD by ZOE SOMERVILLE #historicalfiction



ABOUT THE BOOK


An atmospheric literary thriller set in north Norfolk in the shadow of the Cold War, in which a love triangle turns murderous.

Her heart beat hard. There was a crazed beauty to the storm. It was almost miraculous, the way it took away the mess of life, sweeping all in its path…

No-one could have foreseen the changes the summer of 1952 would bring. Cramming for her final exams on her family’s farm on the Norfolk coast, Verity Frost feels trapped between past and present: the devotion of her childhood friend Arthur, just returned from National Service, and her strange new desire to escape.

When Verity meets Jack, a charismatic American pilot, he seems to offer the glamour and adventure she so craves, and Arthur becomes determined to uncover the dirt beneath his rival’s glossy sheen.

As summer turns to winter, a devastating storm hits the coast, flooding the land and altering everything in its path. In this new, watery landscape, Verity’s tangled web of secrets, lies and passion will bring about a crime that will change all their lives forever. 


PUBLISHED BY HEAD OF ZEUS

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW


This was a wonderfully intoxicating novel, set around the real life flood that hit the East coast of England in 1953. It merges the before, during and after of the events while looking at the lives of local characters who are all dealing with their own issues and insecurities.

It’s set in Norfolk, and centres around the goings on of a family living on a farm. Verity lives there with her father and brother, Peter, and they are all still coming to terms with a loss that impacted on them dreadfully. You get the impression that they all feel trapped by past events, and seem unable to fully move on and dream of a life away from the area. Verity especially has ideas of going to University, but that dream is always squashed by her father who wants her married off to a neighbours’ son as times are tough and the financial standing of the farm is more important.

The Americans are in town due to the local airbase, and when Jack shows up in all their lives it seems to shake things up. He’s a character not short of confidence and makes them all sit up and take notice – in good and bad ways!

I loved how the story plays out – the build up to the night of the flood showing life carrying on as normal, with the characters having no idea what was just around the corner for them all and that would impact the area so devastatingly.

I found all the characters so interesting to read about – the secrets, the emotions – and the impact that a change of personality added to the mix had on them all! It was a very atmospheric read and I was totally captivated by the setting, the impending disaster awaiting them and the angst they were all feeling due to their lives not being what their hearts desired and had left them feeling unsettled and regretful, but aware of responsibilities that were holding them back.


★★★★★

#BlogTour THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW by REBECCA MASCULL #BookReview #TheSeamstressOfWarsaw #SpellBoundBooks #ZooloosBookTours @zooloo2008 @rebeccamascull @SpellBoundBks



Super excited to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW by the wonderful REBECCA MASCULL.
My thanks to the author, publisher and Zoe of Zooloo’s Book Tours for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

1940

London

A man learns a shocking truth about his past.

Warsaw

A mother writes a diary as the ghetto walls go up.

From the bombed streets of London, to occupied Warsaw, to the Polish forests bristling with partisans, will their paths cross?

Will their pasts be reconciled?

And will they survive the deadly assaults on their freedom and their lives?

THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW is a tale of endurance and loss, family and blood, stories and histories, that questions the nature of who we are and where we are going, when the road ahead is burning.

PUBLISHED BY SPELLBOUND BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

 Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B099KWCPFS

 Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B099KWCPFS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Mascull is an author of historical novels. She also writes saga fiction under the pen-name of Mollie Walton. Rebecca’s latest book under the Mascull name is coming on September 18th 2021, THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW, the powerful tale of two people unknowingly connected to each other, caught up in the whirlwind of World War II, whose perilous journeys we follow from the Blitz to the Warsaw Ghetto and beyond, published by SpellBound. Mollie Walton’s The Ironbridge Saga series is set in the dangerous world of the iron industry: THE DAUGHTERS OF IRONBRIDGE (2019). The second book in the trilogy is THE SECRETS OF IRONBRIDGE (2020), set in the brickyards of the 1850s. The third book is set in the coalmines and servants’ quarters of the 1870s: THE ORPHAN OF IRONBRIDGE (2021). All three are published by Bonnier Zaffre. Mollie’s next trilogy will be set in WW2 North Yorkshire and the first book of this saga will be out in March 2022, published by Welbeck. Her first novel as Rebecca Mascull, THE VISITORS (2014) tells the story of Adeliza Golding, a deaf-blind child living on her father’s hop farm in Victorian Kent. Her second novel SONG OF THE SEA MAID (2015) is set in the C18th and concerns an orphan girl who becomes a scientist and makes a remarkable discovery. Her third novel, THE WILD AIR (2017) is about a shy Edwardian girl who learns to fly and becomes a celebrated aviatrix but the shadow of war is looming. All are published by Hodder & Stoughton.

She also completed the finishing chapters of her friend and fellow novelist Vanessa Lafaye’s final work, a novella called MISS MARLEY, a prequel to Dickens’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL. This novella is published by HarperCollins.

Rebecca has worked in education, has a Masters in Writing and lives by the sea in the east of England. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, based at the University of Lincoln.

Follow her at: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaMascull/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beccamascull/

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/rebeccamascull

MY REVIEW

This is a wonderfully written story, that triggers all your emotions as it focuses on characters who are dealing with the toughest dilemmas and conditions during the War and brings to the fore the strength of the human spirit. Even when life is so desperate and hopeless, there is something within us that keeps us fighting and pushing for answers.


On one side of the story we hear from Daniel, a young man in 1940 London who is desperate to go to Poland to find out the truth about his past and discover who he really is.  And on the other, we hear from a woman who is Jewish, living in  Poland and the utterly horrific conditions that the Jewish people were left to face when the Germans came to Warsaw.   Reading about the treatment they faced left me with horror as they were all humiliated and degraded on a daily basis, but they found a way to stick together and get through – dreaming of a better life.


As Daniel finds out more about his Polish family, he travels to become a spy in the hope he can get the answers he so desperately craves and you can only begin to imagine what is going through his head as to whether he’ll find out what he wants to know.


The story of Helena for me had the most impact.  It was harrowing but full of hope and a tale of real bravery.  The struggle to live day to day, not knowing what was in store for them all next was heroic and her dressmaking skills were what kept her going, and kept her sane.  You are just aching for a happy ending to the story for all their sake
This was an epic and emotional story that lays bare the reality of life during the war for those being persecuted.  The fear they faced on a daily basis alongside the determination to get through it for their own and their family’s sake.  An exquisitely told historical story that will stay with me for a long time to come.


★★★★★