GuestPost CAPTURED BY A SCOTTISH LORD by MARIE LAVAL #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @MarieLaval1

Hello and welcome along to my Blog!! A real pleasure today to have Marie Laval here to help celebrate Publication Day for the fabulous CAPTURED BY A SCOTTISH LORD! She’ll let you know where she gets the inspiration from for the story!Links to go grab your copy are down below so treat yourself!! You will not be disappointed!
Over to you Marie…..

Publication Day Post: Captured by a Scottish Lord by Marie Laval

People often ask me where I get my ideas from. Well, all I had to do for Captured by a Scottish Lord, my latest historical romance published by Choc Lit, was to look at a beautiful book about the Highlands of Scotland my children had given me for Christmas. Not only was it filled with photos of incredible castles and dreamy landscapes, but there was also a detailed map of the area and the moment I saw the name ‘Wrath’ right at the top, I knew this would be the setting of my story.

Like by magic I started to write and the characters took a life of their own – Rose Saintclair, the Desert Rose sailing from her hot, sunny Algeria and shipwrecked in a winter storm, and Bruce McGunn, Laird of Wrath, haunted by the fear of madness and dark memories of his time in the Punjab wars…

Captured by a Scottish Lord is the third novel featuring a member of the Saintclair family. Rose is a wonderful, warm and fun character, and she comes up with the most outrageous and inappropriate comments – some of them I borrowed from my own mother, who, like Rose, grew up in Algeria. I must say that Rose made me laugh a lot when I was writing! The first time he sees her Bruce compares her to a ray of sunshine and a summer morning filled with light and life, with the scent of wild flowers, and the promise of sweetness, life and love. And the man really does need love and sunshine…

ABOUT THE BOOK

Can a Desert Rose survive a Scottish winter?

 The wild Scottish landscape is a far cry from Rose Saintclair’s Saharan oasis, although she’ll endure it for Lord Cameron McRae, the man she married after a whirlwind romance in Algiers. But when stormy weather leads to Rose’s Scotland-bound ship docking on Cape Wrath – the land of Cameron’s enemy, Bruce McGunn – could her new life already be in jeopardy? 

Lord McGunn was a fearless soldier, but his experiences have made him as unforgiving as the land he presides over. He knows McRae won’t rest until he owns Wrath, and the man is willing to use brutal tactics. Bruce decides that he’ll play McRae at his own game, take the ship and its precious occupant, and hold them hostage. Rose is determined to escape, but whilst captured she learns that there’s another side to her new husband – and could her supposedly cold and ruthless kidnapper also be concealing hidden depths?

Captured by a Scottish Lord is available on Amazon and Kobo and other platforms.

About the author


Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire and writes historical and contemporary romance. Best-selling Little Pink Taxi was her debut romantic comedy novel with Choc Lit. A Paris Fairy Tale was published in July 2019, followed by Bluebell’s Christmas Magic in November 2019 and bestselling romantic suspense Escape to the Little Chateau which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Award. Marie’s historical romances, Angel of the Lost Treasure, Queen of the Desert and Captured by a Scottish Lord, all feature members of the Saintclair family and her short stories are published in the bestselling Miss Moonshine anthologies. Marie is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors, and her novels are available as paperbacks, ebooks and audiobooks on AMAZON and various other platforms.

Follow Marie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarieLaval1 

Like Marie’s page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marielavalauthor

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BookReview A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE FOR THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS

ABOUT THE BOOK

The sixth heartwarming, feel-good instalment in the much-loved Railway Girls series!

Manchester, 1942. There are surprises in store for the railway girls this festive season…

When Cordelia’s daughter Emily falls for a young chap who doesn’t meet the approval of her father, Cordelia is reminded of her own first love – a love that she has never forgotten.

Mabel is determined to get to the bottom of a spate of local burglaries. Her heart is in the right place as she sets out on a quest to clear her friend’s name, but there will be unforeseen consequences.

It’s nothing short of a miracle when Colette returns to Manchester. But it’s not going to be easy for her to keep living the life she once knew, and an impossible situation lies ahead.

There will be more than one storm for the railway girls to weather but with the friendship and support of one another, there’s hope that all will be well by Christmas…

PURCHASE LINK

AMAZON

MY REVIEW

Book 6 in the Railway Girls series and another sparkling installment that transports the reader back to Manchester during the War, and lets you catch up with the goings on of the wonderful Railway girls.

It’s always so nice to catch up with these characters through the good and the bad times that they experience. Their jobs around the Railways have given them strength and independance, but real life is still going on and that doesn’t always bring happiness their way. This is a story exploring young love, and dangerous old loves and seeing how the women cope during changing times.

These books really bring home to you the madness of the time – life carrying on as normal, but within seconds it can change and devastation and despair can often be round the corner. I loved seeing how they are there for one another and that you never can know what’s going on behind closed doors and it takes a lot sometimes to open up to people. The attitudes of the time are also explored, particularly relating to domestic abuse, and it opens your eyes to how ‘blind’ they were back home to the events going on around the world, compared to the way the news is 24/7 now in our world, it would take them a while to discover what was happening, especially concerning family members fighting.

I couldn’t put this book down until I’d found out what had happened to the characters and I’m already counting down the days until Book 7 is released in April 2023!! Brilliant!!

★★★★★

BookReview BOOTH by KAREN JOY FOWLER

ABOUT THE BOOK

From the Man Booker finalist and bestselling author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves comes an epic novel about the family behind one of the most infamous figures in American history: John Wilkes Booth.

In 1822, a secret family moves into a secret cabin some thirty miles northeast of Baltimore, to farm, to hide, and to bear ten children over the course of the next 16 years. Junius Booth—breadwinner, celebrated Shakespearean actor and master of the house in all ways—is at once a mesmerizing talent and a man of terrifying instability. One by one the children arrive, as year by year, the country draws closer to the boiling point of secession and civil war.

As the children grow and the tenor of the world shifts, the Booths cement their place as one of the country’s leading theatrical families. But behind the curtains of the many stages they have graced, multiple scandals, family triumphs, and disasters begin to take their toll. A startling portrait of a country in the throes of change and a vivid exploration of brother- and sisterhood, Booth is a riveting historical novel focused on the very things that bind, and break, a family.

PUBLISHED BY SERPENT’S TAIL

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

 MY REVIEW

This has been my favourite book to read off the Booker Longlist 2022 – no wonder it never made it to the shortlist! I’m a kiss of death to books!! But I found this piece of historical storytelling to be totally absorbing and really gave a sense of life from 1822 onwards in America, when so much was going on politically and had such an impact on people all across the country.

John Wilkes Booth is a name known to many as the man who shot Abraham Lincoln, and this book centres around the Booth family – their beginnings and encounters in the years leading up to that event. I love how each character is given their own voice to tell their own story – how the children had to grow up fast to be responsible for the parents, the struggles,the successes, the losses…. it really gives you a glimpse into how people lived at the times and how political changes were impacting families.

The story is told over a number of years and that had the most impact for me – you could see how their lives were impacted by things they saw, people they met – and then alongside their story, the story of Lincoln and how his life was panning out so it gave you a real sense of the timelines of these families whose paths were about to cross….oh and there’s a character called Harriet Mace and I do always like to see a namesake character in a book!

I found it to be totally absorbing and loved seeing the different points of view, especially of the siblings of JWB. The incident of ‘that night’ that is in the history books, is only a very small part of this book and that worked so brilliantly for me as a reader. It was described perfectly, alongside the aftershock for the family and how they found out what their brother had done.

I found this to be a fabulous read and gave me great insight in to such an infamous name in history and the impact that has on the family around.

★★★★★

20BooksOfSummer2022 SWIMMING HOME by MARY-ROSE MACCOLL #BookReview

ABOUT THE BOOK

From the author of the international bestseller In Falling Snow. In 1925, a young woman swimmer will defy the odds to swim the English Channel–a chance to make history.

London 1925: Fifteen-year-old Catherine Quick longs to feel once more the warm waters of her home, to strike out into the ocean off the Torres Strait Islands in Australia and swim, as she’s done since she was a child. But now, orphaned and living with her aunt Louisa in London, Catherine feels that everything she values has been stripped away from her.

Louisa, a London surgeon who fought boldly for equality for women, holds strict views on the behavior of her young niece. She wants Catherine to pursue an education, just as she herself did. Catherine is rebellious, and Louisa finds it difficult to block painful memories from her past. It takes the enigmatic American banker Manfred Lear Black to convince Louisa to bring Catherine to New York where Catherine can train to become the first woman to swim the English Channel. And finally, Louisa begins to listen to what her own heart tells her.

PUBLISHED BY PENGUIN

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

This is book 20 of my 20 Books of Summer 2022.

An enjoyable historical fiction story that held my interest throughout, although my patience did wear a little thin at times with all the lies that were revealed!

Set in the 1920’s it’s a story about female characters – Louisa, is a successful woman, setting up her own surgery as a surgeon and championing the rights of women which to her means forgoing personal relationships. Meanwhile on the other side of the world, her niece Catherine is 15 and her only passion is swimming. She lives with her father, after losing her mother when young and has very little memory of her.

Louisa finds herself going to Australia to help her brother raise Catherine and the clash between them is quite stark at times. Catherine is very settled with the housekeeper, and this adds an element of racism to the story as Catherine is unable to stay wth Florence who is black, and that just doesn’t sit well with many. So Catherine has to move to London with Louisa and the clashes between stubborn women intensify!

I loved the characters in this story as they both had very interesting stories to tell, especially Catherine who loses herself in a quest to swim the Channel and to challenge authority. And then the big plot twists and shocks begin to drop and changes the background to the story! I shall say no more but it made for a really interesting read.

★★★

#BlogTour THE GIFTS BY LIZ HYDER #BookReview @LondonBessie #TheGifts @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous THE GIFTS by LIZ RYDER.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy of Compulsive Readers for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

October 1840. A young woman staggers alone through a forest in Shropshire as a huge pair of impossible wings rip themselves from her shoulders.

Meanwhile, when rumours of a ‘fallen angel’ cause a frenzy across London, a surgeon desperate for fame and fortune finds himself in the grips of a dangerous obsession, one that will place the women he seeks in the most terrible danger . . .

THE GIFTS is the astonishing debut adult novel from the lauded author of BEARMOUTH. A gripping and ambitious book told through five different perspectives and set against the luminous backdrop of nineteenth century London, it explores science, nature and religion, enlightenment, the role of women in society and the dark danger of ambition.

PUBLISHED BY MANILLA PRESS

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

From the author of Bearmout, comes this immensely enjoyable and atmospheric novel which brilliantly conveys the frustration of the female characters and demonstrates the undertones of how women were treated and dismissed so easily by society at the time.

There’s a real ethereal feel to the story from start to finish and the story of the fallen angels who appear at various points add a unique twist to the tale.  Set in 19th century London, the buzz is created by the appearance of these fallen angels who captivate and fascinate those who hear of them. No more so than those in the medical world who are overwhelmed with ideas of how these ‘angels’ can further their careers and standings.  They will go to desperate lengths to be the star of the show and make their names, no matter the cost.

It’s a book that crosses the historical element with a little magical realism to brilliantly. Set against the backdrop of showing how women were not being taken seriously no matter how well they excelled in their field, whilst the men were front and centre and using the subjects as a competition – a way to show off and claim the plaudits.

The female characters were so absorbing and watching their stories evolve was expertly crafted to give a wonderful flow and link to the overall sense of the time.  And any book that has gardening and auriculas mentioned is going to be a big hit for me!!

It’s also a book that angers as you witness these women just seen as possessions devoid of any rights and the way they were just used was indicative of the time and gives the story a great anchor as you find yourself willing the tide to turn!!

Captivating, unique and wonderful!!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE GIFT by RA WILLIAMS @wearewhitefox @BlackCrow_PR


ABOUT THE BOOK


A lush historical adventure that’s equal parts Gothic horror as it is tale of lost love, this first book in THE GIFT trilogy follows an optimistic yet cautious American ethnologist on her journey from St Dunstan’s Prep in Michigan, to the warm tropical shallows off the coast of Honduras, and the tors of Germany’s Externsteine, uncovering clues to the identity of the man who saved her from the Crimen one fateful night. All clues lead to Folkestone, England where she is reunited with the man she has sought for nearly three decades. But, is their reunion the end, or merely the end of the beginning?

The North Atlantic, 14 April 1912.

Amid the chaos of the sinking Titanic, a young Eleanor Annenberg meets the eyes of a stranger and is immediately captivated. As the ship buckles around them, she follows him down into the hold and finds him leaning over an open sarcophagus, surrounded by mutilated bodies. She catches but a glimpse of what lies within before she’s sucked into a maelstrom of freezing brine and half-devoured corpses.

Elle is pulled out of the water, but the stranger – and the secrets she stumbled upon – are lost. Unintentionally, however, he leaves her a gift; one so compelling that Elle embarks on a journey that pulls her into a world of ancient evils, vicious hunters and human prey to find the man who saved her that fateful night.

From trench warfare at Cape Helles in 1915 to a shipwreck in the tropical shallows off the Honduran coast, from a lost mine beneath the towering Externsteine in a Germany on the verge of war to the gothic crypts of Highgate Cemetery in London, Elle gets closer to a truth she has sought for most of her life. But at what cost? Gifts, after all, are seldom free.


PUBLISHED BY WHITEFOX PUBLISHING


PURCHASE LINK


AMAZON

MY REVIEW


I love reading books that are a little bit different, and that’s definitely what you get with this one! It’s part historical, part gothic horror and full on adventure!! Ooh and it has maps!! Always a big plus with a big sprawling kind of story!

The story starts aboard the Titanic, where Eleanor is captivated by a stranger. What she finds beneath the decks when she follows him down there is the stuff of horror – and the fun and games begin with the author taking the reader on an epic journey across the globe, over many years and you’re always guessing as to what role Eleanor has to play and what she saw that night has in store for her as she moves forward with her life.

She is one of those characters that definitely grows on you as you get to know more about her. She isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers and there’s always that sense that some want her stopped as she may be interfering in things! And this is what sets up the story nicely for the rest of the trilogy to come and I look forward to seeing what adventures the author takes us on next in this raw, mysterious and dark journey!


★★★★

#BlogTour THE MAN IN THE BUNKER by RORY CLEMENTS #BookReview @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n



Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the gripping THE MAN IN THE BUNKER by RORY CLEMENTS.
My thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy of Compulsive Readers for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!


ABOUT THE BOOK


WHAT IF HITLER HAD SURVIVED?

In the gripping new spy thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Hitler’s Secret, a Cambridge spy must find the truth behind Hitler’s death. But exactly who is the man in the bunker?

‘MASTER OF THE WARTIME SPY THRILLER’ – FINANCIAL TIMES
________________

Germany, late summer 1945 – The war is over but the country is in ruins. Millions of refugees and holocaust survivors strive to rebuild their lives in displaced persons camps. Millions of German soldiers and SS men are held captive in primitive conditions in open-air detention centres. Everywhere, civilians are desperate for food and shelter. No one admits to having voted Nazi, yet many are unrepentant.

Adolf Hitler is said to have killed himself in his Berlin bunker. But no body was found – and many people believe he is alive. Newspapers are full of stories reporting sightings and theories. Even Stalin, whose own troops captured the bunker, has told President Truman he believes the former Führer is not dead. Day by day, American and British intelligence officers subject senior members of the Nazi regime to gruelling interrogation in their quest for their truth.

Enter Tom Wilde – the Cambridge professor and spy sent in to find out the truth…

Dramatic, intelligent, and brilliantly compelling, THE MAN IN THE BUNKER is Rory’s best WWII thriller yet – perfect for readers of Robert Harris, C J Sansom and Joseph Kanon. 


PUBLISHED BY ZAFFRE BOOKS


PURCHASE LINK


AMAZON


MY REVIEW


This is Book 6 in the Tom Wilde series, and my first! So that shows how it can be read as a standalone! And now I’ve got the enjoyment of the rest of the series to catch up with as I found this to be such an intriguing and fascinating subject to have a story based around! The What If subject is one of those conspiracies that still does the rounds now, so the author has done a brilliant job within this series of using that as the backdrop for a new adventure!


This is set just after the war, so the world is waking up again and trying to move on but life is still pretty brutal in many parts of the world with unresolved anger.  Tom Wilde is trying to live a normal life again, but that is blown out of the water when 3 men show up on his doorstep wanting his help in finding out just what happened in ‘that’ bunker where no body was ever found.


So he has to travel to Germany, interrogate those close to Hitler and others at the top to find out if they know more than they are letting the world believe.   


You get a real sense from the story that many people are still on edge after what they’ve been through for the past few years, and many want revenge for what has happened to them or those they love.  Wilde has a tough job ahead of him getting through to people and trying to work out who he can trust and who is telling the truth.


There’s also a side story featuring the character of Lilly too, a woman who had a fling with a german officer and has been shunned by her own family, and it really hit home how the war had split family and friends.


As I said, this was my first book in the Wilde series and I just loved the whole feel and pace of the storytelling so I’m eager to go back and see where the rest of the series took the character!  It is a smart and dramatic piece of historical fiction.


★★★★

#BookReview THE WOLF AGE by TORE SKEIE #nonfiction #history #TheWolfAge



ABOUT THE BOOK


A thrilling work of popular history that gives a new perspective on the Viking-Anglo conflicts and brings the bloody period to life.

In the eleventh century, the rulers of the lands surrounding the North Sea are all hungry for power. To get power they need soldiers, to get soldiers they need silver, and to get silver there is no better way than war and plunder. This vicious cycle draws all the lands of the north into a brutal struggle for supremacy and survival that will shatter kingdoms and forge an empire.

The Wolf Age takes the reader on a thrilling journey through the bloody shared history of England and Scandinavia, and across early medieval Europe: from the wild Norwegian fjords to the wealthy cities of Muslim Andalusia. Warfare, plotting, backstabbing and bribery abound as prize-winning historian Tore Skeie weaves together sagas and skaldic poetry with bold dramatization to bring the world of the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons to vivid life.

‘Skeie has a unique ability to conjure images of the richest detail, everything from chaotic battles to the period’s exhausting day-to-day life’ A-MAGASINET

Author:


Tore Skeie is one of Norway’s most acclaimed historians, having written several prize-winning and bestselling works of medieval history. Tore is known for his eye for historical and human drama, while his books have been praised both for their thrilling style and the way they challenge traditional nation-oriented historical narratives. The Wolf Age was a bestseller in Norway, won the prestigious Sverre Steen award and is the first of Tore’s books to be translated into English.


PUBLISHED BY PUSHKIN PRESS

PURCHASE LINK


publisher website

MY REVIEW

Oh how I wish I could turn back the clock and tell the younger me who thought history was boring that it was anything but!! This was a wonderfully absorbing look back at the extraordinary times of the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons – Game of Thrones seems very tame compared to some of the tales of the goings on during the 10th and 11th centuries in this book!!

The author has extensively researched the goings on of the time and presents it in such a fantastically relatable way that I couldn’t put it down! It reads just like a novel, and knowing these things happened just make it even more astounding! There’s a great overview of the characters involved, and the chronology of the events that unfolded and it was just utterly fascinating!

The story ebbs from England to Scandinavia and Medieval Europe and the action never stops! From feuding Kings to raiding Vikings, this is a brutal and political history showing the benefits of alliances and showing the treachery of others, all in the pursuit of power. You can just picture the sight of the ships venturing in to the estuaries and coastal towns around England and there’s also mention of the archeological finds relating to ships of the time and it has just made me so intrigued to find out more about the time .

It features some amazing characters, with amazing names such as Harald Bluetooth, Sweyn Forkbeard, Olaf, Cnut… extraordinary names for extraordinary people! Their quests are epic and often brutal. There’s also a look at the rituals of the time, and the ever changing religions and beliefs of the people of the time. Life was brutal and the intensity of the raids and destruction was just shocking to read about.

A must read for all lovers of all things historical!!

★★★★★

#BookReview YOURS CHEERFULL by A.J.PEARCE



ABOUT THE BOOK


From the author of the “jaunty, heartbreaking winner” (People) and international bestseller Dear Mrs. Bird, a new charming and upliftingnovel set in London during World War II about a plucky aspiring journalist.

London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.

When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.

Every bit as funny, heartwarming, and touching as Dear Mrs. BirdYours Cheerfully is a celebration of friendship—a testament to the strength of women and the importance of lifting each other up, even in the most challenging times.


PUBLISHED BY PICADOR


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW

I listened to the audio version of this book.

Having loved Dear Mrs Bird, I was so pleased that the characters would be back for another installment, and it hasn’t let me down! It’s one of those ‘nice’ books that are a pleasure to read. You enjoy the characters so much that they become like friends as you watch over their progress.

This book is set a few months after DMB, and life at the magazine during the war continues to throw up new issues and challenges for the staff. And with it being a magazine for women, the focus on the role of women during the war is top priority, so that sets Emmy off to look at new ways of incorporating the lives of women as she forges on with her journalist career.

There’s still a snobby attitude by some towards the ‘Friend’ magazine, and that only just makes those working there more determined to do the best for their readers. The advice column is still a major success and it is giving women a voice. And with the magazine asked to help get women to help out with the war effort, I loved seeing how creative Emmy and the others were in finding ways to show the impact that women can have in a positive way.

The research and attention to detail was top notch once more, and really bought home the issues facing women at the time – dealing with worrying about their loved ones, whilst trying to carry on as normal and raise their families not knowing what was round the corner. And proving the power of coming together to raise awareness and fighting for their rights. Some things never seem to change… unfortunately!

Looking forward to book three already…. if there is to be more!!

★★★★

#BookReview WINDSWEPT by ANNABEL ABBS #NonFiction #Windswept



ABOUT THE BOOK


Annabel Abbs’s Windswept: Walking the Paths of Trailblazing Women is a beautifully written meditation and memoir that reflects on that most fundamental way of connecting with the outdoors: the simple act of walking. In absorbing and transporting prose, Abbs follows in the footsteps of groundbreaking women, including Georgia O’Keeffe in the empty plains of Texas and New Mexico, Nan Shepherd in the mountains of Scotland, Gwen John following the French River Garonne, Daphne du Maurier following the River Rhône, and Simone de Beauvoir—who walked as much as twenty-five miles a day in a skirt and espadrilles—in the mountains and forests of France. These trailblazing women were reclaiming what had historically been considered male domains.

The stories of these incredible women and artists are laced together by the wilderness walking in Abbs’s own life, beginning with her poet father who raised her in the Welsh countryside as an “experiment,” according to the principles of Rousseau. Windswept is an inventive retrospective and an arresting look forward to the way walking brings about a kind of clarity of thought not found in any other activity, and how it has allowed women throughout history to reimagine their lives and break free from convention. As Abbs traces the paths of these exceptional women, she realizes that she, too, is walking away from, and towards, a very different future. Windswept crosses continents and centuries in an arresting and stirring reflection on the power of walking in nature.

PUBLISHED BY TWO ROADS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Blackwell’s

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

Just glorious!! I found this book to be inspiring, thought provoking, educational, fascinating and just wonderful!

The author uses her own life experiences, especially when she found herself in hospital unable to walk, to explore the art of walking and the fact that there was very few books around by women about walking and their adventures, when there are so many by men. With extensive research she uncovers some amazing characters – many of whom I had heard nothing about – and has brought their stories to life by challenging herself to walk the routes they did in the past, and this really just makes this book so immersive and inspiring.

The women she features are Frieda Lawrence, Gwen John, Clara Vyvyan, Nan Shepherd, Simone de Beauvoir, Georgia O’Keefe, but there is also reference to Daphne Du Maurier and Emma Gatewood.
All very different women but all sharing a deep passion for walking, exploring – and shockingly for women – walking by themselves!! The shame!! But in their adventures they enjoyed the freedom it gave them and allowed them to find their own minds, and the author shared these feelings as she uses each chapter to share her walk, alongside that of the woman she was walking in the footsteps of. There’s a look back in time to the lives of these amazing women, their trials and tribulations, the scandals, alongside her own experiences and thoughts on the changes over time as to the attitudes towards a variety of different topics.

It explores the benefits to your health of walking, the stories of the kindness of strangers met along the way, the pitfalls and reality of walking in the middle of nowhere by yourself, and the overwhelming sense of achievement and confidence these women had when they had finished a walk. And how eager they were to go on other adventures. Some weren’t afraid to go against convention, some lost their families over their actions, but most were just inspired by the solace they felt while walking, despite all of them having a real strong attachment to ‘home’ and realising just how little they needed in their lives.

I learnt so much about these women as the author relayed their stories, alongside her own walking experiences and how that time alone gave her time to think over her life choices. Reading about these women, inspired me to research a little more about them and their work and it’s been enlightening to learn more about these amazing women. The way the author connected with each woman also made this more of an experience as she wanted to feel what

It is one of those books that inspires, educates and just makes you want to walk!! To use your time wisely, and when you get the chance to grab that time for yourself and go out exploring, no matter how near or far!

★★★★★