#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.


★★★★★

#20BooksOfSummer2021 THE FAIR BOTANISTS by SARA SHERIDAN #BookReview



This is Book 16 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021

ABOUT THE BOOK


It’s the summer of 1822 and Edinburgh is abuzz with rumours of King George IV’s impending visit. In botanical circles, however, a different kind of excitement has gripped the city. In the newly-installed Botanic Garden, the Agave Americana plant looks set to flower – an event which only occurs once in several decades. When newly widowed Elizabeth arrives in Edinburgh to live with her late husband’s aunt Clementina, she’s determined to put her unhappy past in London behind her. As she settles into her new home, she becomes fascinated by the beautiful Botanic Garden which border the grand house and offers her services as an artist to record the rare plant’s impending bloom. In this pursuit, she meets Belle Brodie, a vivacious young woman with a passion for botany and the lucrative, dark art of perfume creation. Belle is determined to keep both her real identity and the reason for her interest the Garden secret from her new friend. But as Elizabeth and Belle are about to discover, secrets don’t last long in this Enlightenment city. And when they are revealed, they can carry the greatest of consequences . .

PUBLISHED BY HODDER & STOUGHTON

MY REVIEW


This was a blooming treat of a read! Full of history, strong and interesting female characters and a wonderful gardening backdrop, it had everything you want from a story and it just sweeps you along and transports you back in time with ease!

Set in 1822, amidst the backdrop of the botanic gardens of Edinburgh, you are following the characters involved with the set up and the general buzz of the town with the forthcoming visit of King George IV. But what gets more buzz than a royal visitor, is the flowering of a rare plant and the impact that has on different people for different reasons are followed in the story – some with more devious plans than others!!

Belle and Elizabeth are the main female characters and they are very different but both share a love for botany. As their paths cross you sense the secrets they’re both holding back but understand that they respect one another for being such independent souls.

I loved the frenetic energy of this book! There’s so much going on with the various characters and their scheming and plotting!! You really get a great sense of the time period and the expectation that fills the air with the impending royal arrival, alongside that of the rare flower set to bloom, and you find yourself totally immersed in the drama and conflicting characters! Loved it!


★★★★

#20BooksOfSummer21 THE ROSE GARDEN by TRACY REES #BookReview



This is book 15 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021

ABOUT THE BOOK


1895. Hampstead, London.

Olive Westallen lives a privileged, if rather lonely, life in her family’s grand Hampstead home. But she has radical plans for the future of her family – plans that will shock the high-society world she inhabits.

For her new neighbour, twelve-year-old Ottilie Finch, London is an exciting playground to explore. Her family have recently arrived from Durham, under a cloud of scandal that Otty is blissfully unaware of. The only shadow over her days is her mother’s mysterious illness, which keeps her to her room.

When Mabs is offered the chance to become Mrs Finch’s companion, it saves her from a desperate life on the canals. Little does she know that all is not as picture-perfect as it seems. Mabs is about to become tangled in the secrets that chased the Finches from their last home, and trapped in an impossible dilemma . . .

The Rose Garden is an absorbing and moving novel, perfect for fans of Dinah Jefferies and Rachel Hore.


PUBLISHED BY PAN MACMILLAN

MY REVIEW


Wonderful!! It’s not often you find a book full of characters that could each have their own book that you’d happily read, but they’re all here!! Under one banner and it was just so lovely to be part of their world for the duration of this story. The author really does do historical fiction so well, and captures the essence of the times whilst including such strong, fascinating characters!

Set in London, around 1895, we’re introduced to very different characters living very different lives. Olive has a life many people would dream of, and she’s fully aware of the privilege she has. But she’s not one of those obsessed with indulgences and endless partying, she wants to do good and becomes determined to adopt a young girl from the local orphanage – definitely not the done thing if you’re a young, single woman!

Then there’s Ottilie, who is 12, and has recently moved to the area from Durham with her family. And she’s excited to be living in London and just wants to explore and learn! Another determined young lady!

And then there is Mabs, who has a tough home life after losing her mother, helping her father provide for her 6 siblings. When she’s offered the chance to work for the Finch family as a companion to the poorly Mrs Finch she jumps at the chance and is determined to do her best. She is soon part of the family and so grateful for the opportunities she has been granted.

What follows is their stories and how they come into contact with one another. It’s a fascinating story of independent women of the time and how that was frowned upon, and they were expected to tow the line and do as they were told. It was heartbreaking at times to see the lengths some people would go to to keep them in their place, so to speak, but their spirit never waivered and seemed to be inspired by what they saw around them.

An engrossing story full of wonderful female characters! Adored it!!


★★★★★

#BookReview THE DREAM WEAVERS by BARBARA ERSKINE #20BooksOfSummer2021

This is book 10 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021

ABOUT THE BOOK


The new gripping historical novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Lady of Hay.

A nest of vipers, they called us. But that is not how it was.

Mercia, 775 AD. In the grand Saxon halls of Mercia, King Offa rules with ruthless ambition. Aggressive and relentlessly acquisitive, his three daughters are destined to marry advantageously in service of their country. Eadburh, the youngest, is neither the cleverest nor the most beautiful of the three. But, with her father’s ruthless spirit and the secret gifts passed down from her mother, she is determined to carve her own path in the world.

2021. Simon Armstrong has escaped to a secluded cottage on the English-Welsh borders, desperate to finish his book about Anglo-Saxon King Offa. But he soon finds himself disturbed by unsettling noises and visions. Calling in local expert Bea to identify the issue, Simon hopes to get back some peace – but soon Bea is as embroiled as he is, feeling increasingly connected to a ghostly presence that is growing ever-stronger in its desire for revenge.

And when Simon’s daughter disappears, centuries of secrets and resentment begin to tumble out…

An epic tale of deceit, revenge and exile from the queen of timeslip historical fiction.

Time is running out as the past and present collide… 

PUBLISHED BY HARPERCOLLINS


MY REVIEW

An epic tale that totally engrosses you in the history! Even though it’s a bit of a chunk of a book – over 500 pages – the time spent with these characters and in their worlds, just flies by and I loved every single minute of it!


Transported to the Welsh hills, we follow the story of a writer who is seeking solitude to complete his latest book. It is focused on the history of the area, specifically that of King Offa and his family, and what a story they have to tell! Their story comes to life when the author, Simon, starts hearing voices around the cottage he is living in and calls in a local woman, Bea, who has a ‘gift’ for being in touch with the spiritual world. But the dreams and voices she encounters at this cottage are like no other she’s experienced before, and she finds herself fully immersed in the past through her dreams and visions.


I loved the setting and the characters of this book. You totally understood Simon and his need for quiet, but with the past connecting with the present he gets a little bit closer to the time period he is concentrating on. And in Bea, you can understand her battle in not really wanting to get too involved, but getting totally swept along in the romance and darkness of the past. The characters of Eadburh and Elisedd, are so captivating as we watch their stories play out too and I can’t choose between which time period I loved reading about the most!!


With the added mix of family becoming involved in the drama and danger, and the present mirroring the past, I totally lost myself in these worlds and didn’t want it all to end!! Enthralling and captivating!!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE WOLF DEN by ELODIE HARPER #20BooksOfSummer2021



This is book 5 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021

ABOUT THE BOOK


Sold by her mother. Enslaved in Pompeii’s brothel. Determined to survive. Her name is Amara. Welcome to the Wolf Den…

Amara was once a beloved daughter, until her father’s death plunged her family into penury. Now she is a slave in Pompeii’s infamous brothel, owned by a man she despises. Sharp, clever and resourceful, Amara is forced to hide her talents. For as a she-wolf, her only value lies in the desire she can stir in others.

But Amara’s spirit is far from broken.

By day, she walks the streets with her fellow she-wolves, finding comfort in the laughter and dreams they share. For the streets of Pompeii are alive with opportunity. Out here, even the lowest slave can secure a reversal in fortune. Amara has learnt that everything in this city has its price. But how much is her freedom going to cost her?

Set in Pompeii’s lupanar, The Wolf Den reimagines the lives of women who have long been overlooked.


PUBLISHED BY HEAD OF ZEUS

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW

This was book 5 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021.

Who knew a book about a group of enslaved prostitutes in Pompeii would be so utterly captivating?! This is a book that shows the darker side of life in Pompeii, the ill treatment of women, the brutality, the fears, the sleazy characters, and more importantly, the women who find themselves working in the brothel and their backstories and how they become a little family to help them get through each day in a world that is extremely unfair.

At the heart of the group is Amara, who has ended up at the brothel despite a positive start in life. But in her she has a fight and spirit that seems to infect some of the others, as they deal with the horror of their days by supporting one another, using humour as a tool to deflect the bad and just being there for one another and looking out for each other.

You really do empathise with the despair of these girls – there is no way out, and what they have to put up with from their boss or clients just makes you sick to the stomach. They are commodities and there is no compassion for them as human beings whatsoever. But they share a bond as women and that is what gets them through each day, despite the jealousies that can sometimes bubble up.

The author has done a wonderful job of transporting you back in time – you can almost hear the noise on the streets and the smells in the air. A wonderful piece of historical fiction and I really cannot wait to see what Elodie comes up with next!!

★★★★★

#BookReview #BlogTour THE LADY IN THE VEIL by ALLIE CRESSWELL @Alliescribbler

ABOUT THE BOOK

What secrets hide beneath the veil? When her mother departs for a tour of the continent, Georgina is sent from the rural backwaters to stay with her cousin, George Talbot, in London.

 The 1835 season is at its height, but Georgina is determined to attend neither balls nor plays, and to eschew Society. She hides her face beneath an impenetrable veil. Her extraordinary appearance only sets off gossip and speculation as to her identity. Who is the mysterious lady beneath the veil?

The Lady in the Veil continues the story of the Talbots in The House in the Hollow but stands equally well alone.

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

MY REVIEW

I have loved stepping back in time through the pages of this book, and following the story of Georgina, who is one of those characters that you find yourself immediately taken with and just wanting the best for her.

When her mother remarries, Georgina finds herself shipped off to a distant relative to start life over and find a husband.  But Georgina is far from appreciative of this new chapter in her life, especially as she’s been brought up to hide herself away, behind a veil, and living in fear of the reaction she will receive from others when they see her face.

And this mystery lies behind the bulk of the story and it was wholly encapsulating as you tried to put pieces together and discover the truth.  There are always family secrets to be revealed and that becomes much clearer when her veil is removed!  We watch as Georgina discovers this new life ahead of her, and the lessons she needs to learn to be part of this new society and to discover who will treat her with the kindness and respect she so clearly deserves.

The Lady in the Veil represents the third entry in Allie Cresswell’s Talbot Saga, filling the role of the sequel to The House in the Hollow, while serving as a prequel to Tall Chimneys, the final book in the chronology but is easily read as a standalone – and then you can have fun catching up on the back story later as you’ll be captivated by the characters and settings!

★★★★★

LOVE AND FURY by SAMANTHA SILVA #BookReview #Loveandfury @allisonandbusby #publicationday



ABOUT THE BOOK

‘NOW, DAUGHTER, I’M TO TELL YOU A STORY TO COAX YOU INTO THE WORLD…’

London 1797. Mary Wollstonecraft awaits the arrival of the midwife who will help bring her child into the world, and support her through the testing eleven days that follow.

After the birth, both mother and daughter fight for survival. Even as Mary’s strength wanes, she urgently weaves the tale of her life to bind her frail Little Bird close. 

Wollstonecraft’s journey to vindicate the rights of women spanned Europe and broke the conventions of the time. Amid the triumph and loss, she blazed a trail and passed that legacy on to her child, the future Mary Shelley.

Love and Fury reclaims the all too brief moment when the stories of mother and daughter overlapped. It is a lyrical and moving tribute to an influential thinker and a remarkable woman.

PUBLISHED BY ALISON & BUSBY

PURCHASE LINK

Publisher Website

MY REVIEW

I found this to be a brilliantly written and poignant read, allowing me to learn so much more about Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Mary Shelley, who I ashamedly knew very little about. Not any more!!

The story is told through her eyes and those around her as she prepares to give birth to her 2nd daughter – both she and the girl are poorly so it’s touch and go whether either or both make it through. 

Seeing the story unfold through the eyes of the midwife was also a great viewpoint.  She’s seen it all before in her work, but calm soon turns to nerves as things take longer to progress than they should and she finds herself spending more and more time at the house with Mary and becomes so involved with the family as she watches over her and the little one.

And as Mary lies battling poor health, she is telling her life story to her young daughter and what a story it is.  It really gives you a great insight into just how tough things were for women throughout her childhood when nothing is expected of them, other than to marry and reproduce.  But the young Mary had different ideas and was a wonderful trailblazer and it was inspiring to read her story and support her struggles. Despite society saying otherwise, she was always determined that women should be able to do what they wanted and not live a restricted life, just because of their gender.  

She wasn’t only fighting against society, but her family so you can’t help but be in awe of her commitment and spirit. It never waivered and this book is a beautiful way of telling her story.

★★★★★