The Misfit Tribe and the Secret of Mystery Island by B J Rowling & D G Lloyd – A YA novel with wide appeal


This is a young adult book which manages to combine a treasure hunt, a threat from unknown pursuers, and some fascinating comments about sibling relationships, especially in the light of danger and attraction. Teenagers let loose without parental involvement is obviously a theme of one of the author’s cousin’s (yes, that Rowling) but there are no known wizards or witches present in this book, though some magic is involved of a different sort. As with the best YA books, this is apt to be enjoyed by adults of all ages. The teenagers do not always have to depend on external help; their own abilities and courage are as important to their survival as “magical, mystical powers” as mentioned on the cover. Everyone is represented here, the brave, the strong, the technical expert, the survivalist. The two girls are variously flirty and more down to earth, but they prove that they are both able and resourceful in a crisis, of which there are many packed into an adventure which sees them in several dangerous and threatening environments. There is humourous dialogue as a group of friends, including siblings, pit their wits against challenges which require all their various abilities and resources to meet. The threatening adult is typically British, with a sidekick of indeterminate origin, and there are moments of peril as he despairs of American teenagers and indeed anyone he can terrorise. Set largely on an island where mobile phones and transport cannot be depended on for answers, and wifi does not play a part, this novel manages to give a nod to simpler times, where quick thinking and sheer courage were more important. A treasure map and a journal may give all the clues needed, but they still have to be solved and followed, as well as a “ruthless villain”. As a book primarily aimed at teenagers, this was not my usual read, but it is certainly entertaining and does definitely keep moving. I was pleased to be given the opportunity to read and review a copy of this book.


This book opens with view of an American suburb where several families are preparing in various ways for a weekend away on an island. This is not to be a holiday, however, as the families are going to be competing in a “family building exercise” which offers a prize of ten thousand dollars. Digger is a teenager with military leanings influenced by his father, which means he is well equipped for the adventure. His sister Karli is a realistic and able girl, in contrast with Sandra who is more intent on her appearance and what it can achieve. Both J.J. and older brother Aaron appreciate Sandra in many ways, but when JJ discovers his family’s true problem, he seizes on a discovery of his ancestor’s experiences to seek out treasure. Together with Genius, a nervous but technically knowledgeable young man, they accidentally set off on an adventure through booby traps, challenging clues and dangerous environments. To add to the drama, a threatening baddie is in pursuit with an unwilling food obsessed teenager. Although very threatening, he is also amusing with his silent commentary on the people around him.


This is an enthralling book which maintains a rattling pace and handles unusual situations well. Worth tracking down for many readers, this is a promising book full of well realised characters with lively dialogue and fascinating situations.    


A Right Royal Face -Off by Simon Edge – Art, royalty and comedy in two centuries

Royal scandal, an argument between artists, a servant with an eye for detail, and a modern television programme’s discovery of a unique mutilated portrait. Frank, funny and sometimes disrespectful of the great artists, this is an amusing book full of very human concerns and comedy. Edge has recreated some characters; Thomas Gainsborough, the apparently deaf and less than brilliant Joshua Reynolds, an assortment of royalty and other historical characters , and created some modern characters who find themselves in a very modern dilemma. Art, portraits and rivalry are mixed with some obvious comedy as an artist tries to reconcile his painting with raising enough money for his challenging family, while maintaining his position as a superior artist. In the twentieth first century a second rate antiques programme’s researcher makes a discovery in deepest East Anglia which attracts attention for all the wrong reasons. With various accounts, including Thomas’ hapless progress, a servant who writes wide eyed accounts of life in an artistic household and the story of Gemma, who is trying to do the right thing in the twenty first century, this is a story to make the reader laugh at absurd situations, wince at the human problems presented, and accidentally learn a lot about eighteenth century painting. An unusual book, I was pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this novel of mixed fact and fiction, combined to great effect.


The book opens in the studio of Thomas Gainsborough attempting to paint a Duchess, who has courted scandal and is now officially the spouse of the Duke of Cumberland, whose minute investigation of the studio is causing problems. The veneer of royalty is wearing very thin as the Duke comments unfavourably on his brothers, another duke and the King himself. Not that he is any more polite about the abilities of the President of the Royal Academy, as it is generally known that he is technically deficient as a painter if politically more able. Thomas’ new footman, David, too terrified to go out after hearing dire warnings of the London Press gangs, writes an account of the household to his mother, as he will later tell of Thomas’ visit to the Academy and other notable places in London. In our own time, Gemma is working on a new television show that plays on the hopes of members of the public that they own real treasures, while really the Producers are hoping for spectacular junk. When a local woman brings in a family heirloom, Gemma is set on the trail of a painting that shocks and intrigues, but also represents televisual gold for the unprincipled powers that be. As Thomas struggles with a family with pretensions, David struggles with piglets, and Gemma struggles with East Anglian complications, this small book contains a multitude of well realised comic possibilities.


This unusual book will appeal to anyone who has spent time wondering at the stories behind television’s obsession with people’s antiques. It also gently imparts its thorough research into the artists of the eighteenth century and the commissions to paint an often dissolute royal family. With sheer comedy and a lot of ambition, this short novel combines excellent writing, seemingly effortless historical research and a great understanding of people to create a really enjoyable read.  

The Hidden Wife by Amanda Reynolds – a young reporter tries to get the story of a mysterious marriage

A mysterious disappearance of a young woman. A secluded designer house. A conflicted husband. A vulnerable young journalist. It all makes for a tense read, with characters and settings jumping from the page as fully realised reality. This is an atmospheric novel which maintains a relentless pace, as a young woman  tries to work out why she has been chosen to be the exclusive reporter on a story which has been in and out of the public consciousness for months. As we get snippets of the police investigation, there is no real whisper of what has happened to the beautiful Julia Blake following a wedding anniversary party dominated by an argument.  With reminders of Du Maurier’s “Rebecca” in my mind at least, Max Blake has requested the presence of Seren, a junior reporter at his impressive house recently remodelled by his absent wife. A wealthy and successful author of thrillers, it is a mystery why Max wants to reveal his story to a young woman who has previously written a short piece about the pain of missing people. Only Theo, editor of a struggling local newspaper, seems to have any inkling of why Seren has to venture to a house in an obscure spot to interview a man who seems reluctant to answer any questions on the record. This is a well constructed book, where the suggestion of danger, guilt and so many unanswered questions dominates a strong narrative. I was intrigued and fascinated to be given the opportunity to read and review this mystery thriller. 


The book opens thirty – three hours after Julia’s disappearance, with Max at bay in his kitchen as Detective Sergeant Katie Ingles asks questions. Memorably we discover three things about Max “He looks like he hasn’t slept. He looks like a man desperate to find his missing wife. He looks like he’s lying”.  The story of how Seren is asked by the infuriating and influential Theo to get the exclusive story of Julia’s disappearance is told by her; her confusion and determination. This book charts the visits made by Seren to the house and the contradictory way he greets her, at one moment affable host, the next frightening, possible guilty man. Julia is impressed, frightened and a little awed as Max’s wealth and the elusive Julia contrasts with her flat share and family who are left bereft by an ongoing sadness. There are moments where Julia is in some doubt as to her safety, and even more concerning the whole project, as she is forced to put everything on the line for her exclusive story. The presence of Miriam, personal assistant and questionable character adds to the confusion, as both Seren and Katie Ingles piece together who was at the fateful party, and the guilty secrets behind the glittering surface.


This is a mature and confidently written book, full of the chances and weather conditions that increase the tension of an already difficult situation. For Seren there is unresolved guilt, but for Max nothing is certain. There is the mundane details of daily life, mobile phones and cars. There is the star quality of a woman apparently given everything in life, but seemingly dissatisfied. The characters of Seren, who is after all a young woman, and Max, who seems to have much to hide, really work as characters against a background of jealousy, strife and expectation. I recommend this book to all those who enjoy a well paced thriller with a strong mystery, largely set in a very British, very well described house and grounds. 

Victory for the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry – Wartime adventures for the women of Station 75

The Second World War may be almost over, but it has changed the lives of many, especially the characters in this book which completes the series featuring three young women who live and work in London. Not that this book has to be read in order with the other fine books; Hendry is skilled enough to make this a standalone tale which also manages to tie up many of the loose ends. It revolves around an ambulance Station, number 75, which has been kept busy throughout the Blitz itself and the other incidents which have rendered life in London so dangerous. Through challenges in picking up casualties and others who need to get to the London hospitals quickly, the women of Station 75 have had to learn to work together as well as cope with love and loss. Frankie has had a difficult home situation as she must deal with loss and the evacuation of those she loves, while waiting for her fiance to return from Europe. Winnie, the strong minded rebel must deal with unexpected challenge as she seeks to continue her valuable work. Bella has convinced herself that love and marriage is perhaps not for her, and works at her writing between vital call outs. As new weapons are sent against a ravaged London, can the three women survive and help others to get through the final days of a war which has threatened everything? I was really pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this book of womens’ wartime experience. 


The book begins in February 1944. After a long time of relative peace, there is another onslaught of bombs on civilians to deal with for Bella and Frankie. Although they can carry some casualties to hospital, there are those that are beyond their help. Winnie, who shares a house with her beloved godmother Connie, recalls her childhood with a distant mother, and considers what that means for her future. Frankie’s great joy is tempered by her difficult relationship with her stepmother, whose behaviour is causing many problems. As new bombs land with devastating effect, Bella encounters a very different man, who soon develops his own agenda. Station Officer Steele has to support the young women as they are faced with challenges beyond their work at the station, and she has to consider her own future as the war comes to an end. 


Despite the sometimes difficult subject matter in a book which deals with injury and sometimes death, this is ultimately a hopeful book which deals with the resilience of people, particularly women. The way that they all work together and remain friends through all the challenges that life throws at them is comforting and ultimately forms the basis of this book, as the others in the series. This book is a pleasure to read and enjoyable, as the author creates and maintains characters which are easy to care about throughout their adventures. As always, the sights, sounds and smells of the city at this significant time are so truthful, and there is obviously a great deal of research in the background. I was so impressed with this book that it was difficult to put it down, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed it immensely. Fans of books which deal with women in difficult situations will really enjoy this book, and I recommend it as a super example of the type.


A Home from Home by Veronica Henry – a tale of Dragonfly Farm and families

Dragonfly Farm is an idyllic place to recover from a disastrous childhood, bad relationships and general challenges. An orchard full of different types of apple trees, authentic buildings ungentrified and unfashionable, the sort of place we would all like to visit, or better still, live in, once fed up with the hot and punishing city. As several of the characters say “Dragonfly Farm was more like home than anywhere else in the world”. Unfortunately the farm has a history of difficulties between two families, the Melchiors and the Culbones which at the hands of a less able writer than Henry could have descended into a heavy multigenerational family saga. This book, however, maintains a lightness of touch as the seasons are brought to life in this tale of tragedies and triumphs. The characters, who include a fiercely independent Tabitha, a confused but loving Gabriel and a determined Georgia, all leap off the page as being real and significant to the story. Henry does not just write romantic stories; her narratives are complex where romance rarely runs smoothly. This book is an enjoyable read with much to recommend it, and I was very pleased to be given the opportunity to read and review it ahead of publication day. 


When the book opens Tabitha is hard at work on the farm which has become her sanctuary after a difficult life with her estranged parents. She has a formidable energy, as she plans how she and her beloved great uncle Matthew will develop the cider making which is a locally popular product, partly as a tribute to his late wife Joy. It is only when the improbably named Dash appears on the doorstep that she realises that within a few moments she has lost all stability and that her way of life is under threat. Meanwhile in London, the author almost leads the reader into a very different story as a man admires a knife which would cut through flesh, fat and sinew. Fortunately murder is not planned, and Gabriel instead demonstrates his love for his partner Lola and their daughter Plum. As revelations emerge of past loves and loss, the legend of the drowned Eleanor remains in the background, inviting speculation and reminiscence, as the truth of identity becomes vital.


This is a book which contains deep feelings and emotions, and not only straightforward romance. The power of devotion and protective love is definitely a theme, and provides a counterpoint to the despair occasioned by one or two more tragic relationships. This is ultimately a book of the positives of human nature, mixed with a little humour and much love. There are coincidences and happiness, even when emotions are running high. There are strong women and less strong men, happy plans as well as difficult challenges. This book is effortlessly readable and gently reassuring. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a substantial and romantic book, and it will satisfy Veronica Henry’s many fans of deftly handled tales concerning families in all their challenging variety.   

I am particularly pleased to be posting this on Publication Day! I hope that this book proves as popular as Veronica’s other books; it certainly deserves a lot of favourable attention! 

Judge Walden – Call the Next Case by Peter Murphy – an effective and entertaining look at the law

Judge Walden – Call the Next Case by Peter Murphy


Fascinating fiction based on the strange but true world of the legal system has often been popular; but The Judge Walden stories have the advantage of being quietly brilliant. Having completed my first degree in law at Cambridge University, I think I have some insight into how difficult it can be to write in a human and engaging way about the law, especially without getting bogged down in obscure facts and arguments. The underlying story of this book, of a resident judge in Bermondsey, London who is happily married to a Vicar, is a solid background  for tales of people who get themselves entangled in the law, as well as the stories of how he runs the local court establishment. Although this is the third book in the series, it is a complete standalone book which may well just persuade the reader to get hold of the other two books. It is not only the law that is the subject here; the characters are so realistic that I was convinced that they were real in all their exasperating, surprising and intriguing actions. The dialogue is funny, crisp and varied, with the lawyers observing the rules with a running commentary from Charlie, and his judicial colleagues showing their real characters over disappointing lunches and battles with technology. The humour is gentle and always to the purpose, but there are also sad human stories sensitively handled. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this fascinating book.


This book begins with a case which deals with an elderly lady who has trusted a friend with money over several years. While not the most cheerful of stories, it does reveal much about the people involved in some skilful descriptions. A disturbing incident in a restaurant is full of information about salad making and jealousy, while another gives a serious view of astrology. My favourite was a rare excursion into the countryside for Walden, where the rules are reconsidered and expectations overturned.While each case is carefully looked at, in all its complexity and suspense, all are resolved but never neatly or in a predictable way. The running characters at home or at work ensure that Walden always has much to consider and attempt to reconcile to the various expectations of his life. 


It is difficult to convey adequately how immensely readable and enjoyable I found this book. I suggest it would appeal to those with little or no legal knowledge, as well as those with an interest in crime generally. Its humour, to be found in such catchphrases as lunch being “an oasis of calm in a desert of chaos”, often muttered ironically, is subtle but effective. The plotting of each story is impeccable, with many details and thoughtful asides. “Judge Walden” is a cunning but realistic judge, able to predict and understand many of the statements and questions raised in court, while showing the ability to react well to the challenges of effectively running a complex establishment, while giving due credit to the members of staff around him. There is undoubtedly a market for fictionalised actions of careers in teaching, medicine and other professions, and this look at the legal system in the twenty first century is undoubtedly educational as well as extremely entertaining.      

Meet Me on the Riviera by Fliss Chester – sun and the mega rich on yachts in the Monte Carlo

Meet Me on the Riviera (The French Escapes) by [Chester, Fliss]

If you enjoy the idea of the mega rich in Monte Carlo, sunning themselves on luxury yachts, spending large amounts of money, this may be a great read. However, this is more than just a romance in the sun novel, as an element of mystery and danger is introduced as Angus faces real danger. There is also a cynical and realistic note as Jenna realises the truth behind the shiny and hugely expensive facade. There is humour, hangovers and general hijinks as alcohol, desire and romance contribute to what is really a very funny book. Several of the characters, as well as Jenna and Angus, have appeared in other novels, so for some readers the demanding Bertie, helpful Emma and pregnant Sally are well known, along with their sometimes hapless partners. This book stands alone as an adventure in an unusual setting which requires no previous knowledge of the main characters’ exciting past, though some themes are picked up. The dialogue is particularly rich, especially as Jenna narrates some of her adventures to Sally back in London, and all types of language is used. The research into the lifestyle of the mega rich is sound to my limited knowledge, as the contrast between inherited money and those who have come to money later in life is explored. Jenna’s down to earth observations on the contrast between the impoverished and the multi millionaires makes this a deeper novel than first appears. I was pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this book.  


The book opens in the house which Jenna Jenkins shares with her boyfriend Angus Linklater in london. She has lost her job in an art gallery, so Angus has paid for the deposit on the house and everyday expenses, and she is finding that getting by on her small income from a pop up gallery. She still has some rich friends; Sally is married to a man who works in the city, and their mutual friend Bertie is independently wealthy and a determined socialite, whose extravagant lifestyle her fiance is struggling to maintain. Happily, another friend and her husband have bought a yacht currently moored in Monte Carlo, and Emma feels the need to employ Jenna as a PA as she launches her fashion range. While this is a most welcome well paid summer job, Angus is sad to be told that she will not be accompanying him to his summer contract in Hong Kong. As Jenna discovers the lifestyle of the rich and famous, Angus is told that he must take action to avert disaster. To confuse the issue, a billionaire businessman, TG, is attracted to Jenna, and soon establishes that he will do many things to ensure her affections. Against a background of clothes, cash and deceit, can Jenna do the right thing?


This is a book which is easy to read and has mysteries set against luxury, shiny yachts and “Bertie’s barbs” as she subtly insults her friends despite her essential friendship. Some of the mystery is a little unlikely, and the plot is a little dependent on coincidence, but this is essentially a good hearted book with much to recommend it. As a gentle novel with a little spice and some tensions, I enjoyed this as an easy read with interesting detail concerning a very alternative lifestyle, with a lot of humour and realism.    

Expectation by Anna Hope – Three women in contemporary Britain search for love and hope

In this novel, as in reality, life does not always turn out as we expect. Covering much of the lives of three women, Lissa, Hannah and Cate, the challenges they face and their highs and lows, this beautifully descriptive and powerful novel looks at the lives that women lead. Focusing on different times in the lives of the women, it explores the relationships between them, their families and friends, how unexpected emotions and actions can upset and change lives. There is also a fine sense of place, as houses or flats can confine or allow a feeling of peace. There are contrasts, as the various characters discover the truth of their lives and the changes in their lives. As each of the three women are depicted as overlapping, apart and together, this novel also includes details of those that they love as parents, siblings and friends ease in and out of their lives. Including  fascinating insights into the lives of actors, the difficulties of infertility and the life of a parent who influenced the women, there is much to interest, involve and entertain in this sympathetic and mature novel. I was really pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this timely and truthful novel.


The book opens with a description of the idyllic Saturdays spent by the three young women in a spacious,”shabby, friendly house” next to a park. As they buy food from the market, wine which they share in the park,  the three women form a tight group.Their lives in 2004 at the age of twenty – nine involves the general worries of life and the world, but at that stage they feel strong and able to drink, smoke and take risks. In contrast the next section, in 2010, looks at Hannah facing the process of IVF with all its hope and realities. Her husband, Nathan is supportive but also tired of the desperation. Lissa turns up to support, but her single lifestyle as an aspiring actor is difficult and means that she has different priorities. Cate is shown as living in Kent, struggling to cope with her baby son Tom, as her husband Sam works difficult hours in a restaurant. While she is lonely and sleep deprived, she feels overwhelmed by her husband’s family and longs for past freedoms, and past unconventional loves. The scene reverts to 1995, as Lissa and and Hannah are at Oxford, very different women but also linked in many ways. Cate is shown in 2008 -9 , dating a variety of men unsuccessfully, linking up with  Lissa and Hannah. As the book progresses, the time frames changes, the relationships become brittle and tested. The concept of expectation develops and changes, as life, death and everything in between is experienced and deeply felt.


This is a book which is so easy to read, and indeed demands that the reader continues if only to find out what happens to the three, vividly drawn women. This book has so much to say about what women want and need in contemporary Britain, but also the resulting pressure on men. I found it a genuinely fascinating book about the expectations of motherhood, and how things are rarely as they simple they seen. There are passages of almost lyrical beauty in this book, as well as the grinding reality of life. This is a book of relationships, individual lives, and life in the recent past as well as today. I recommend this as an absorbing read. 

The Cinderella Plan by Abi Silver – a legal thriller of technology and tragedy

A tragic accident cuts into lives, and no more so that in this tense thriller featuring two established characters, lawyers Judith Burton and Constance Lamb. This is a book which looks at the intimate family life of not only the victims, but also those whose work and ambitions are linked to the events of a few dramatic moments. Featuring a complex legal trial in which the accuracy of procedure is brilliantly explored, this book also explores the questions of technological progress and the vulnerability of those who operate it. The reality of the use of driverless cars is discussed as a present fact rather than a future possibility, but the questions that the incident raises dominate this book as people are torn between ambition and confusion over the implications of autonomous vehicles. James Salisbury is in an impossible position; either verdict at his trial will mean disaster for him or his business. As the legacy of the struggle to build a business has left its mark on several people, relationships seem difficult on all sides. As Burton and Lamb try to build a case, nothing is straightforward when motives, technology  and legal rules become mixed. This tense novel, peopled with characters with their own backstories, their own motivations, is at once readable and disturbing, as the tension is maintained throughout this book. I was pleased and intrigued to have the opportunity to read and review this well constructed and written novel.


The book opens with the tragedy round which the rest of the novel will work. It is distressing because it is so realistic, and the quick movement back in time to show how that point was reached is something of a relief. James Salisbury is shown as a man desperate in a very controlled way to make his life’s work, the SEDA vehicle, the British produced car designed and manufactured by his company, the main driverless car on the market. The legal implications of introducing the cars is huge, as Parliament needs to be convinced of its safety, insurance companies are unsure and many people need to be convinced. Martine, James’ wife, is a strong force, as she involves herself in the life of the office where Toby is trying to make an impression. Juan, the Mexican technical expert, seems to be involved at many levels, while Peter Mears may have mixed motives for his interest in the company. As Judith and Constance become involved in the case, they have their own expectations and questions to answer, as well as their own history. 


This book is a strongly written commentary on the progress towards technological breakthroughs and the human problems it can cause. As the lawyers try to sort out exactly who did what and when, and who knew exactly how the complex systems worked, all the information is hard won. The two lawyers are drawn as real people, with their own backstories and concerns. Ethics, laws and the truth are well explored in this well written thriller. I found it an intense and compelling read, posing large questions of guilt and blame. The legal case is particularly fascinating, and I found the book a worthwhile and timely read, raising questions about the technology which has the potential to change everyone’s life on a daily basis. It also looks at the human cost of innovations and challenges. There are painful moments of truth and real insight in this book, which maintains the tension right until the end. I would recommend this as a well written thriller with real insight into people involved in a nearly impossible situation.    



The Deserter’s Daughter by Susanna Bavin – a family saga with fascinating plot lines

Image result for deserter's daughter Bavin

The Deserter’s Daughter by Susanna Bavin


Life in Manchester in the 1920s is not easy. Many of the men in the working class neighborhood of Wilton Lane have not returned from the War, and feelings are sensitive. This saga is an intelligent and complex study of family life when desire, money, greed and fear become muddled with loss and hatred. Carrie’s family situation suddenly spirals out of control and she has to make the best of an impossible set of facts. It is not a unique dilemma for a novel of this type, but what makes this book so special is the way that Bavin creates a world of deceit and criminality in which the innocent suffer, and mistakes are harshly punished. As in Bavin’s other book, the research into the era is absolutely impeccable, giving not only the facts but also managing to convey the feeling of the period in so many details. The few years covered by this book are a time of momentous events for Carrie and her immediate family as the world of Manchester settles into a post war state. Sometimes brutal, even tragic, the hope and love which perminate this book with the basic strength of the characters means that it is difficult to put down, as tension and surprises maintain the reader’s interest. A flowing and immensely readable book, I found it a fascinating read. I was so pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this book.


The book begins with Carrie’s joyful preparations for her imminent marriage to Billy Shipton with her mother. Her sister Evadne is jealous that her younger half sibling is to marry before her, and when the news arrives that Carrie’s father was executed as a deserter  in the war. At a time when even shell shock was not diagnosed properly, the shame of a so called coward in the family is life changing. Later on in the novel there is more on the mental damage that war caused, but at this stage the revelation is life changing, as the wedding is called off and even Evadne’s job is imperiled. As Carrie’s options are limited, tragedy strikes and the women become desperate, an opportunity appears that will have dramatic consequences for everyone. The world of medicine as therapies are tried is introduced, but curiously it is the business of antique dealing which becomes actually dangerous. Who if anyone will survive, and what is the role of true love and loyalty?


This is a powerful, complex and well written saga which contains important themes such as the lack of choices that women had in the recent past, the way men influenced their lives, and the ways they were so dependent on the choices made for them. The effects of a terrible war both on those who fought, and those who loved them is well written. The characters are all well developed, with very human failings and qualities, and there are some interesting details of clothing, setting and even antiques.There is a strong plot which works well throughout, and all loose ends are well tied up. This is a delicious saga, and an excellent read for fans of historical family novels featuring strong female characters. Well worth seeking out!


Meanwhile I have been a bit distracted from putting posts here – I am still reading, just had a few days away and doing different things. I have been collecting some lovely books which I look forward to posting reviews about as soon as possible. They are quite a varied lot! I was delighted to get my hands on a copy of this one!