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The Marriage Certificate by [Molyneux, Stephen]
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The Marriage Certificate Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 234 customer reviews

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Length: 302 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2654 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Sites To Suit Limited (7 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CP9IJ0M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 234 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,889 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By AJB on 15 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. I found myself totally immersed in the Victorian story, at the same time eager to uncover the truth behind the Wedding Certificate. It's a fascinating plot, with lives and events being revealed in a simple narrative style which I felt made it all the more realistic and emotional. I was impressed by the amount of research which must have gone into the book and how the author has managed to mix historical fact, human emotion and modern genealogical techniques into one brilliant story.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Although not a thriller in the usual sense, I found it as gripping as one and didn't want to put it down! Interesting subject matter and a very welcome change from the usual topics books are written around. Thoroughly recommend it. A great read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book on a recommendation from an acquaintance.
While the subject matter was of interest initially the author soon got bogged down in detailed explanation, which became quite tedious after a while.
I found an error in this detail which then had me wondering exactly what else might be incorrect and in the end I gave up caring about the characters and the outcome. I persevered until the end but even the last minute "beat the clock" scramble left me cold.
On the whole this was an interesting plot idea that was suffocated by too much minutiae and poor execution.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book was engaging both due to the family history that forms the story's core, and the genealogical methods used to discover that history. Whilst the family may itself be fictional, the author writes of its members with such authority and knowledge of his subject that it is easy to see this as almost a universal tale of ancestry.
Although I feel that the plot drags a little towards the middle, it quickly picks up pace again and leads to an interesting finale.
A great deal of research has clearly been done, particularly with regards to dates and the nature of the Boer and First World wars. The writing style suits the content insofar as it is straightforward and designed to further the plot, rather than lingering for too long on descriptive detail.
It is a book well worth reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. As a keen amateur genealogist myself, I could really relate to how addicted Peter became with trying to solve the mysteries he was uncovering as the result of buying an old marriage certificate that had caught his eye on an antique stall. The story was very well-written, and the characters believable, and I was gripped from start to finish! I hope the author will write some more novels on this sort of subject. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There’s a new genre appearing in mystery, thriller and general fiction sections: #genealogylit. Involving a combination of old-fashioned mystery, family history, detective fiction and combined historical and modern-day settings, #genealogylit has grown from the love of family history research and television programmes such as ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ and ‘Long Lost Family’.
‘The Marriage Certificate’ is another example of #genealogylit, combining family secrets with turn of the century British history: the Boer War, the Great War, the merchant navy, the changing role of women and attitudes to illegitimacy. Unlike other #genealogylit however, it is not a crime novel, there is no murder. It is the story of two couples - the bride and groom, Louisa and John, best man Frank and bridesmaid Rose - at a wedding on January 15, 1900; their lives, loves, dangers and tragedies. Running alongside is a modern-day strand. In 2011, amateur genealogist Peter Sefton finds the marriage certificate of Louisa and John’s wedding in an antiques shop and his curiosity is piqued. As he researches the names on the certificate, we also see their lives unfolding in a rapidly-changing world as the 19th century turns into the 20th. The men leave home to fight, while the women stay at home. War brings a change of life, but social mores remain Victorian.
Meanwhile, an elderly man dies alone in London. Without relatives, Harry Williams is listed on the Bona Vacantia list of unclaimed estates. In 2011, a professional heir hunting company starts to research Williams’ life in the hope of finding distant relatives and earn a share of the money. How will Highborn Research’s investigation coincide with Peter’s? Is there a connection to Laura and John? And who will inherit Harry Williams’ money?
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amateur genealogist, Peter Sefton, purchases a marriage certificate from an antiques centre. It catches his eye and he decides to try and find out more about the people who married in 1900 and their witnesses. This leads him to an unclaimed estate.

This book reminded me a lot of the TV programme Heir Hunters and in fact a firm of genealogical researchers does appear in the book. I loved how Peter dug deeper and deeper into the histories of the various people to eventually solve a mystery. This kind of genealogical fiction is right up my street and there aren't that many decent books like this one around.

There is the modern day investigation and also the story of Louisa and John, Rose and Frank in the early 1900s. If I had one complaint about this book it would be that the 1900s story has a very long section in the book which I think would have benefited from being broken up with a bit of the modern story, but once the story returned in earnest to the modern research the book just absolutely raced along and I couldn't put it down until it reached its conclusion.

An excellent read which will particularly appeal to those who enjoy modern history and family history research.
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