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Essie Fox (UK)

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Rebel Heiress
Rebel Heiress
by Fiona Mountain
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I bought this book some time ago, under the ..., 9 Mar. 2016
This review is from: Rebel Heiress (Paperback)
I bought this book some time ago, under the title of Lady of the Butterflies, which I actually think is a gorgeous title.

Fiona's writing is detailed and elegant, and yet not a word used out of place - which is why I waited until I had the time to really savour the book, when I found myself entirely immersed. Eleanor Glanville, the central female character has the strength and self-belief to shine, despite all of the restrictions imposed on many women in her time - during the uncertain aftermath after the English Civil war. To know that Fiona Mountain set her novel around a real character only makes the story of Eleanor Glanville - along with her loves and her enemies, and all the grey areas in between - all the more appealing.

For anyone who enjoys a big, serious, and thoroughly entertaining historical novel.


In a Dark, Dark Wood
In a Dark, Dark Wood
by Ruth Ware
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling mystery thriller. Made me think of a modern-day ..., 25 Aug. 2015
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This review is from: In a Dark, Dark Wood (Hardcover)
Compelling mystery thriller. Made me think of a modern-day Agatha Christie with several different characters thrown together in a holiday home ... in a dark dark wood.


The Undertaker's Daughter
The Undertaker's Daughter
by Kate Mayfield
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it is with complete honesty when I say that this is a wonderful memoir. The book reads almost like a novel, 2 Oct. 2014
I must admit to knowing kate Mayfield - a fellow writer and a friend. However, it is with complete honesty when I say that this is a wonderful memoir. The book reads almost like a novel, so immersive and full is the world in which Kate Mayfield leads us by the hand - visiting her father's funeral home and experiencing every aspect of growing up in such a place, where children must learn when to speak, when to laugh, when to be silent and deferent. The gothic Deep South atmosphere is exotic and very richly told. A unique and intriguing experience.


The Sacred River
The Sacred River
by Wendy Wallace
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £4.53

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN HISTORICAL NOVEL, 9 Aug. 2013
This review is from: The Sacred River (Hardcover)
Once again I must declare an interest in that I am the author/reviewer whose quote appears on the front of the hardback version of The Sacred River. However, I am writing this review because there is so much more to say than I could possibly encapsulate in those brief words.

Essentially The Sacred River is a Victorian novel that follows the physical and emotional journeys of three women who leave England to travel to Egypt. The reason for this journey is primarily due to the illness of the youngest - Harriet Heron - who has spent most her life being cosseted and constrained as an invalid. But when her doctor is persuaded that a different climate might be beneficial to health, she and her mother, Louisa, along with her Aunt Yael, embark on a great adventure.

That journey proves to be one of enormous significance for all three women. Alexandria is not only a place of spiritual beauty and ancient gods, it is also full of dangers; being on the brink of political revolt. Even so, it is in that environment that Harriet finds the freedom to grow and love. And there, through her sense of right and faith, Yael develops a consuming vocation for offering aid and education to the impoverished natives. And as for Louisa - well, in offering her daughter a future, Louisa will be forced to face a secret grief in her own past which she has kept concealed for years.

This elegantly constructed novel is redolent of a Merchant Ivory film - having that measured stylistic restraint beneath which their simmers the most profound themes and emotions. They ultimately lead us to a moving and shocking climax in which all three women will be transformed - in their past, their present, and their future lives.


The Misbegotten
The Misbegotten
by Katherine Webb
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ENGROSSING HISTORICAL MYSTERY, 5 Aug. 2013
This review is from: The Misbegotten (Hardcover)
I must first admit that I know katherine Webb personally, and also that we share a publisher. But it is always my policy never to review a book that I have not loved, and having read The Misbegotten I can honestly say that I did love it.

Katherine often writes with two time frames - with contemporary and historical characters. The Misbegotten remains entirely grounded in the early 1800s. It is all the stronger for that. The story is enthralling. A gritty, beautiful, heart-breaking romance which has an almost Wuthering Heights sense of intensity to the passion between two of the characters - both of whom you will fall in love with too. But this novel is so much more than romance - it's about shame, and loss, and regret. At its centre is a secret that is almost too unbearable to share - and all the more satisfying for that.

It's been some time since I became entirely immersed in a novel. This is in no small way due to Katherine's wonderful story-telling gift. In The Misbegotten the characters are so well rounded, warts and all, that you cannot fail to think of them as real. Because of this, and also the twisting clues that are deftly laid in this mystery, I found myself yearning to get back to the novel every time I put it down.


The Second Life of Amy Archer
The Second Life of Amy Archer
by R.S. Pateman
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and thought provoking,, 20 July 2013
This novel gripped me from the start. Very well written and plotted mystery thriller. Accomplished and affecting. I even dreamed about it. The themes of identity, memory, ownership and loss are deeply stirring.


Cracks
Cracks

5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling!, 27 April 2013
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This review is from: Cracks (Kindle Edition)
Caroline Green is such a talented voice in contemporary YA fiction. Very much looking forward to the next offering from this exciting author.


A Treacherous Likeness (Charles Maddox 3)
A Treacherous Likeness (Charles Maddox 3)
by Lynn Shepherd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent, enthralling and thought provoking read, 27 April 2013
Another excellent read from Lynn Shepherd. I loved the way Lynn wove actual known facts into the fictional plot of this cleverly constructed novel. Brave and poignant.


The Devil's Ribbon (Hatton and Roumande)
The Devil's Ribbon (Hatton and Roumande)
by D. E. Meredith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally well written and accomplished historical crime thriller, 11 April 2013
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I read and very much enjoyed Devoured, also by D E Meredith, so was looking forward to this new book. Everything I hoped for and more - and one of the most atmospheric and beautifully written openings I've come across in a long time. Hatton and Roumande go from strength to strength.


Toasters Don't Roast Chickens: A Mum's Story
Toasters Don't Roast Chickens: A Mum's Story
by Melanie Gow
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN HONEST AND GENEROUS ACCOUNT, 23 Jan. 2013
I must declare an interest, in that I have come to know Melanie Gow as a friend. But in that I feel qualified to say that this is an honest and inspired account from a generous spirit who will never take the easy path rather than the right one. The answers may not be here for everyone and every condition, but this book asks some vital questions about health and nutrition.


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