#BlogTour! #Review – #TheRabbitGirls by Anna Ellory (@AnnaEllory) @LakeUnion @Ed_pr #Auschwitz

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It is an honour to be on the blog tour today for ‘The Rabbit Girls’ by Anna Ellory – thank you to EdPr for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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Berlin, 1989. As the wall between East and West falls, Miriam Winter cares for her dying father, Henryk. When he cries out for someone named Frieda – and Miriam discovers an Auschwitz tattoo hidden under his watch strap – Henryk’s secret history begins to unravel.

Searching for more clues of her father’s past, Miriam finds an inmate uniform from the Ravensbrück women’s camp concealed among her mother’s things. Within its seams are dozens of letters to Henryk written by Frieda. The letters reveal the disturbing truth about the ‘Rabbit Girls’, young women experimented on at the camp. And amid their tales of sacrifice and endurance, Miriam pieces together a love story that has been hidden away in Henryk’s heart for almost fifty years.

Inspired by these extraordinary women, Miriam strives to break through the walls she has built around herself. Because even in the darkest of times, hope can survive.

What does TWG think?

Where to begin? On subject matter alone due to a large portion of the story being set in Auschwitz, ‘The Rabbit Girls’ is a devastating read. Yet on the other hand, Anna Ellory’s novel is heartbreakingly beautiful because of the characters poignant memories.

Set in Berlin in the late 1980’s, ‘The Rabbit Girls’ follows the life of Miriam as she cares for her dying father. Unfortunately, the impending death of her father, Henryk, isn’t the only devastation Miriam has in her life. Without giving too much away, Miriam’s own personal tale is enough to break anyone and, as the story progresses, it is abundantly clear that it has nearly broken her, until a stranger steps in and gives her the strength to realise otherwise, that is.

Miriam’s father is in a bad way, clearly, he is dying. At times he is conscious and aware of Miriam there, and other times all he can do is shout out the name ‘Frieda’. But that wasn’t Miriam’s mothers name, was it? Who is Frieda, and why is Henryk so set on this person?

‘The Rabbit Girls’ is a dual timeline read as it steps back in time, courtesy of letters Miriam has found, and it’s because of those letters that we find out who ‘The Rabbit Girls’ actually were, and why they were called that (amongst other things of course, but spoilers!). I hadn’t heard that terminology before and due to it being related to Auschwitz, I just knew that it wasn’t going to be a case of something cuddly and cute like rabbits are usually associated with. It broke my heart which, is quite a selfish thing to say because I wasn’t the one enduring the heart ache, the pain, the devastation of watching people die and hearing their screams. Why do I, a mere 29 year old who wasn’t even around then, have any right to feel upset about a moment in history which didn’t directly affect me?

It’s simple; because that moment in history was one which moves people, even to this day, because of the sheer atrocities. The people who were in that camp need to have the recognition they deserve, even if they are no longer here to see it, which is why their stories are getting told both fictionally and non fictionally, at the hands of various different authors.

So, not only is this book a poignant, historical piece, it is also a romantic and insightful novel about love once loss and the deep routed power of that four lettered word. I may not have witnessed the pain directly, yet due to Anna Ellory’s beautiful story telling and her emotionally charged historical elements, I was able to feel a snippet of the heartache felt in both Auschwitz, and the world in which Miriam lived in at that time.

Miriam’s story, as I said above, is heartbreaking, harrowing, and simple quite scary. However, it is also a story which was probably extremely common during that time. The sacrifice of ‘The Rabbit Girls’ was jaw dropping and, even though my emotions regarding this book are still very fragile, it was an honour to be able to read such an incredible, incredible novel.

Anna Ellory and ‘The Rabbit Girls’ are forces to be reckoned with, as are all of the victims of Auschwitz. I was blown away by every single word in this novel, and I urge you all to take the time to be in the hands of a story which will leave you absolutely broken, yet hopeful and spellbound, all at the same time.

Buy now from Amazon.

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#BlogTour! #Review – Her Last Promise by Kathryn Hughes (@KHughesAuthor) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

Apologies for the delay in posting my review today, I have been at Edinburgh Book Festival! Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Kathryn Hughes’ latest novel, ‘Her Last Promise’. Also, many thanks to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review:

Tara Richards was just a girl when she lost her mother. Years later when Tara receives a letter from a London solicitor its contents shake her to the core. Someone has left her a key to a safe deposit box. In the box lies an object that will change everything Tara thought she knew and lead her on a journey to deepest Spain in search of the answers that have haunted her for forty years.

Violet Skye regrets her decision to travel abroad leaving her young daughter behind. As the sun dips below the mountains, she reminds herself she is doing this for their future. Tonight, 4th June 1978, will be the start of a new life for them. This night will indeed change Violet’s destiny, in the most unexpected of ways…

What does TWG think?

Ever since I lost myself in Kathryn Hughes’, ‘The Letter’, I just knew that this was an author to watch and, after reading ‘Her Last Promise’, my opinion of the authors talent was cemented on a whole new level.

As far as I am concerned, Kathryn Hughes is the queen of historical fiction who also knows how to incorporate the dramatic realism, with the hint of broken family ties that readers have come to know and love.

‘Her Last Promise’ focuses on the devastating effect that harboured regret and guilt can have on one person and families alike.

The gentleness of Tara’s personality alongside Violet’s lack of confidence, could easily have been a recipe for disaster, yet their characters spoke volumes and made the story, and their own personal journeys, come to life beautifully.

I loved how Kathryn Hughes emphasised the importance of living life to the full as best as you are able, as well as highlighting the fact that a lot of people get scared when they are faced with life changing decisions, just like both Tara and Violet.

‘Her Last Promise’ is such a beautifully written and thought provoking novel which made the hair on my arms stand to attention due to the power of the written word.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #SecretsOfTheHomefrontGirls by Kate Thompson (@katethompson380) @HodderBooks

Happy publication day, Kate Thompson! It is an honour to be kicking off the blog tour today for ‘Secrets of the Homefront Girls’. Huge thanks to Hodder for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Stratford, 1939.

Britain may be at war, but on the home front keeping up morale and keeping up appearances go hand in hand. For the young women working on the lipstick production line at Yardley’s cosmetics factory, it’s business as usual.

Headstrong Renee Gunn is the queen of the lipstick belt – although her cheeky attitude means she’s often in trouble. When Esther, an Austrian refugee, arrives at Yardley’s, it’s Renee who takes her under her wing and teaches her to be a true cockney.

But outside of the factory, things are more complicated. Lily, Renee’s older sister, has suddenly returned home after six years away, and is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile Esther is finding life in England more difficult than expected, and it’s not long before Renee finds herself in trouble, with nowhere to turn.

In the face of the Blitz, the Yardley girls are bound together by friendship and loyalty – but could the secrets they are hiding be the biggest danger of all?

What does TWG think?

Kate Thompson is my go to author for historical fiction, without a doubt. I have never read a historical novel with such grit and factual beauty like the ones Thompson writes, and ‘Secrets of the Homefront Girls’ is no exception.

Set in 1939, during WWII, ‘Secrets of the Homefront Girls’ tells the story of Renee, Lily and Esther, aka the Yardley girls. What I loved most about this book was the fact that, whilst we are aware of what the soldiers endured in the war and what not, we never really hear about what happened behind the scenes so to speak. I know that a cosmetics factory isn’t really behind the scenes of a war as such, however it still had a large role in showing readers how the war affected businesses that may or may not have been directly affected by any shortages.

Renee, deary me..! I loved her character and her fiestiness, but I just knew it was going to get her into trouble somehow. She acted like she didn’t care, yet I could tell a mile off that it was mostly bravado. Deep down she wanted to succeed and do well, and I felt that she knew that too…..she just didn’t know how to. Either that or she felt that she wasn’t worthy of a happily ever after like her sister, Lily.

Kate Thompson is a phenomenal storyteller who takes facts and turns them into a story which ends up touching every inch of your soul. It’s always hard reading a story set during a time where people lost the ones they loved, however the empathy this author showed, despite not focusing directly on the lost lives, was incredibly moving.

‘Secrets of the Homefront Girls’ is a compelling, magnetic read which allows you to touch up your lippy whilst being taken on a journey of self discovery at the same time. A thoroughly enjoyable, indepth and fascinating read.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #ThoseWhoAreLoved by Victoria Hislop (@VicHislop) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

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Next up on TWG today is a review of ‘Those Who Are Loved’ by Victoria Hislop. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Headline for the blog tour invite and ARC – it’s a pleasure to be involved in the tour today!

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Athens 1941. After decades of political uncertainty, Greece is polarised between Right- and Left-wing views when the Germans invade.
Fifteen-year-old Themis comes from a family divided by these political differences. The Nazi occupation deepens the fault-lines between those she loves just as it reduces Greece to destitution. She watches friends die in the ensuing famine and is moved to commit acts of resistance.

In the civil war that follows the end of the occupation, Themis joins the Communist army, where she experiences the extremes of love and hatred and the paradoxes presented by a war in which Greek fights Greek.

Eventually imprisoned on the infamous islands of exile, Makronisos and then Trikeri, Themis encounters another prisoner whose life will entwine with her own in ways neither can foresee. And finds she must weigh her principles against her desire to escape and live.

As she looks back on her life, Themis realises how tightly the personal and political can become entangled. While some wounds heal, others deepen.

What does TWG think?

‘Wow’, is all I can say to this one! How do you even begin to write a review for a novel like this one? If you are into your history, ‘Those Who Are Loved’ will be right up your street. What an intricately detailed, powerful novel this is.

Set in Greece, main character, Themis, tells the story of her life during the Second World War, and the devastation she, and many others, had to live through. I’m not clued up on my history regarding Greece, so it was a very bittersweet pleasure to learn more about what happened in the 1940’s over there, even though it was quite heartbreaking to read at times. It’s not that I was ignorant to the fact that the Nazi’s took over Greece, I had no idea as it’s a topic which isn’t given as much ‘airtime’ so to speak, as other historic events from that time.

Themis is a character and a half. She is one of a kind and a true gem whose life I had the honour of delving into. I cannot even begin to imagine just how many hours research, Victoria Hislop embarked on to get the details of the storyline up to scratch, but it is very clear that the author took to the task to ensure that the storyline was as factually correct as possible.

‘Those Who Are Loved’ is a very deep, atmospheric read, that is full of emotion and incredibly complex due to the political and historical premise behind the storyline. This book blew my mind, and I can honestly say that Victoria Hislop has set the bar incredibly high with this novel. A beautiful, compelling, highly atmospheric read which I was able to sink my teeth into and forget my surroundings – perfect.

Pre-order now! Published 30th May.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Daughters of Ironbridge by Mollie Walton (@RebeccaMascull) @ZaffreBooks

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Blog tour two of the day is where TWG gets to step back in time with ‘The Daughters of Ironbridge’ by Mollie Walton. Bit ironic for Easter Sunday is it not! Thank you to Zaffre Books for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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Anny Woodvine’s family has worked at the ironworks for as long as she can remember. The brightest child in her road and the first in her family to learn to read, Anny has big dreams. So, when she is asked to run messages for the King family, she grabs the opportunity with both hands.

Margaret King is surrounded by privilege and wealth. But behind closed doors, nothing is what it seems. When Anny arrives, Margaret finds her first ally and friend. Together they plan to change their lives.

But as disaster looms over the ironworks, Margaret and Anny find themselves surrounded by secrets and betrayal. Can they hold true to each other and overcome their fate? Or are they destined to repeat the mistakes of the past?

What does TWG think?

Got to love a saga! ‘The Daughters of Ironbridge’ is such a special read. In no time at all, the author allowed me to lose myself in the lives of such three-dimensional, well thought out characters such as Anny and Margaret. Set in the mid 1800’s, Mollie Walton takes her readers on a journey back in time where society and class were completely different to they are now. Not only that, readers are given an insight into the ironworks, and just how much hard work it took for those who worked there.

Mollie Walton makes her characters come alive in such a seamless and flawless manner, at times making me feel as though I was sitting on the characters shoulders like a little parrot, following their every move.

I was moved by the community spirit and the strength of the friendship between Margaret and Anny, two very different people whose lives may have been bound by the strength of their friendship, yet their class couldn’t have been more chalk and cheese if it tried.

There is a lot of storyline to sink your teeth into, just like most saga’s, so if you’re into reading books which give you more than your moneys worth, and then some, ‘The Daughters of Ironbridge’ will no doubt tick several boxes.

I was so pleased to see that this is the first book in a trilogy – roll on more is what I say!

An in-depth, powerful and beautifully crafted novel from an author who puts ‘history’ in the word ‘historical’. Brilliant.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheLibrarianOfAuschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (tr: Lilit Zekulin Thwaites) @Tonilturbe @EburyPublishing @PenguinUKBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

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Third tour of the day is for a book which I am humbled to be hosting on TWG today; ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ by Antonio Iturbe, translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites. Thank you to Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Ebury, Penguin Books for the ARC. Here is my review:

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‘It wasn’t an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books and some of them were in poor condition. But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns…’

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles, as well as the ‘living books’ – prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp.

But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children’s block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor…

What does TWG think?

I really have no idea how to review this book to be honest. It’s not that I didn’t like it because, as weird as this sounds given the topic of the book, I did really enjoy it. I mean, this book is about the prisoners of Auschwitz and the Nazis. I don’t feel qualified enough to comment on the devastations of that time, does that make sense? Obviously I am going to, but I apologise in advance if I just ramble!

‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ is based on the true story of one of the prisoners in the camp, Dita Kraus, written in the book as ‘Dita Adler’. There are some parts of the storyline which have been fictionalised – good luck to those trying to work out which bits are which! Of course, if you googled every single thing in the book, I’m sure the fictional pieces will jump out at you! I did end up googling some things whilst I was reading the book, not because I wanted to double-check that it was factually correct, but more so because I wanted to see the faces of the imbeciles who led people towards their deaths. Not just a small handful of people, not that that would make it any easier to swallow, but an estimated 1 million people. ONE MILLION!

At times I struggled to believe what I was reading. The fact that the SS soldiers and the Kapo were so blasé about what they were doing, sent chills up my spine. What possessed them to get caught up in Hitlers dirty work? How could they live with themselves knowing that they had sent innocent people, including young children, to their deaths? At one point in the book, the story described just how one young child was sticking their tongue out at a solider as they were being put into the chamber. Heartbreaking.

I was in awe at Dita’s strength as, for such a young girl, she clearly had to grow up very quickly to be able to get through the things that she did. She saw people die right before her very eyes. She protected her mother from a situation which could have turned out a lot worse if she hadn’t. She made friends with children one day, only to hear that they have been removed from the camp and sent to a chamber. No way of saying goodbye. No way of protecting people who came to be like an extended family. Dita’s hands were tied, and at times that was quite literal.

Just like the title suggests, there was a library in Block 31. Hang on, let me correct that. There was a SECRET library because, if prisoners were found with books on them, it warranted a death sentence. Death. Because they read a book. I’m literally shaking my head here. And, seeing as Dita ended up being the librarian for Block 31, and responsible for the collection of the five books in the block, she had literally put herself in the firing line knowing full well what the outcome would be should she be caught. Yet her love for books, according to her, was worth playing with death for.

Alongside Dita’s journey, we also follow the lives of several other figures such as Fredy Hirsch, leader of Block 31, and Dr Mengele, a man who liked conducting inhumane experiments on the prisoners….just because he could. There are a lot of other historical names noted throughout this book, a lot of which don’t deserve their names in print, but unfortunately it’s an important part of our history.

Before reading ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’, I had obviously heard about the gas chambers and such, but I had never read a book with Auschwitz at the forefront of its storyline. I am glad that I finally decided to read about the devastation of those years, and finding out little details which helped the prisoners during that time, such as coming together and singing songs on the way to the chamber. Unity at such a dark time.

I don’t think I will ever understand the why’s and wherefores about this particular subject, but, thanks to Antonia Iturbe’s outstanding writing, I am determined to broaden my knowledge. It’s a shame that me doing that won’t change the situation for the thousands and thousands of people who lost their life, but it’s a small way of honouring the memory of the survivors.

‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ moved me, devastated me, and left me utterly broken. Nothing at all compared to what people endured at the hands of the Nazis I know. It goes without saying that Antonio Iturbe has written a heart wrenching novel, simple because you would need to be made of stone to not be moved by even a little detail in this book. I am blown away by the amount of research it must have taken in order to complete this book. I, like I said at the start, am blown away by Dita Kraus, especially as she retraced her steps many years later.

One of my top books of all time, ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ is an emotional, harrowing novel which details some of the heartbreaking events from Auschwitz. A book which I will never, ever forget.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – #GardenOfLostAndFound by Harriet Evans (@HarrietEvans) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

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Second blog tour of the day and what a beautiful cover it has; The Garden of Lost and Found’ by Harriet Evans. Many thanks, as always, to Anne for the blog tour invite, and to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review for my stop on the tour today:

Garden of Lost and Found Cover

Nightingale House, 1919. Liddy Horner discovers her husband, the world-famous artist Sir Edward Horner, burning his best-known painting The Garden of Lost and Found days before his sudden death.

Nightingale House was the Horner family’s beloved home – a gem of design created to inspire happiness – and it was here Ned painted TheGarden of Lost and Found, capturing his children on a perfect day, playing in the rambling Eden he and Liddy made for them.

One magical moment. Before it all came tumbling down…

When Ned and Liddy’s great-granddaughter Juliet is sent the key to Nightingale House, she opens the door onto a forgotten world. The house holds its mysteries close but she is in search of answers. For who would choose to destroy what they love most? Whether Ned’s masterpiece – or, in Juliet’s case, her own children’s happiness.

Something shattered this corner of paradise. But what?

What does TWG think?

After reading Harriet Evan’s previous novel, ‘The Wildflowers’, I was so eager to read more of the authors books. My excitement for ‘The Garden of Lost and Found’ was through the roof!

If you haven’t yet picked up a novel by Harriet Evans, you are missing out on a whole other world. A home away from home if you will. The outline of this novel is similar to the authors others in terms of the dual timeline and split narratives which, if you’re not used to reading books like that, it can be a little bit confusing until you get into the swing of things.

‘The Garden of Lost and Found’, in my opinion, starts off exceptionally slow and requires a bit of patience before the real gem of the storyline became clear. Evans is exceptional at setting the scene in her novels, which is why having patience will be highly rewarded the more of the novel you read.

Juliet’s life isn’t going to plan. She has one more chance (according to her) to sort herself out before she alienates her children for good. Her intentions are there, but the delivery leaves a lot to be desired but, seeing as Juliet’s children are indeed young, they won’t quite understand the logic behind why their mum has decided to do what she has done.

I adored the change in dynamics throughout the storyline, putting family drama’s and multiple generations in the spotlight beautifully. I thought that the story gave off such a magical and enticing vibe – this is such a special, special read and definitely one of a kind.

I was blown away by the authors beautifully descriptive writing and the way she made her characters come alive and steal your heart. Another wonderful, enchanting novel from Harriet Evans.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Extract from #TheForgottenVillage by Lorna Cook (@LornaCookAuthor) @AvonBooksUK

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Today is TWG’s turn on ‘The Forgotten Village’ blog tour, and I am super excited to be sharing an extract from Lorna Cook’s novel. Thank you to Avon Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Before that though, here is a little bit more about the book and the all important ‘to buy’ link. Enjoy!

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1943: The world is at war, and the villagers of Tyneham are being asked to make one more sacrifice: to give their homes over to the British army. But on the eve of their departure, a terrible act will cause three of them to disappear forever.

2018: Melissa had hoped a break on the coast of Dorset would rekindle her stagnant relationship, but despite the idyllic scenery, it’s pushing her and Liam to the brink. When Melissa discovers a strange photograph of a woman who once lived in the forgotten local village of Tyneham, she becomes determined to find out more about her story. But Tyneham hides a terrible secret, and Melissa’s search for the truth will change her life in ways she never imagined possible.

Purchase now from Amazon

Extract.

Melissa looked around briefly as he cast a spell over his audience.
‘The village was requisitioned in its entirety,’ he looked down at his notes briefly, ‘with a promise to be returned during peacetime. Perhaps there should have been a tad more contractual detail about exactly when in peacetime.’ He gave a smile and the crowd laughed enthusiastically. Melissa pressed her lips together, stifling a smile.

‘Tyneham holds a special place in my heart.’ He was sombre now, and the crowd’s mood changed with him. ‘I was brought up only a few miles from here. My grandmother came from Tyneham, and she was here when the announcement came that she, her friends, family, and employers would all have to leave.
I’ve heard first-hand how she felt, but for everyone involved it was different. I’ve always thought the coming together of a community as it was being ripped apart was tragically ironic.

‘But now we get to see the village once again, not as it was, but as it is now. While you can walk the streets, the buildings are damaged by time. Only the church and school are intact and open to the public and I encourage you inside both, to see photographs of the way the village used to be and other exhibits.
But for now, seventy-five years after it was requisitioned, I’m happy to declare Tyneham Village officially open.’

With the sound of clapping once again, he stepped off the stage and a young woman, visibly overjoyed to be part of the proceedings, handed him an enormous pair of ceremonial scissors. He looked taken aback at the sheer size of them and said something to the woman, which made her roar with laughter and flick her hair. He snipped the ribbon and it fluttered to the ground.

At that, the surge started and visitors were shown through by guides in luminous yellow jackets. Melissa watched the crowd head through the gate, but waited for the bottleneck to disperse before she entered the fray. She watched the TV personality as he chatted affably with a handful of visitors. He posed easily with people for photos and signed copies of books, which Melissa assumed he must have written. He smiled throughout and she thought it must be exhausting being a celebrity: the permanent smile and the
demands on you by the public. As soon as one doting fan left Guy Cameron’s side, another appeared. Melissa cast him a final glance before she slipped past him and through the gates, into the forgotten village.

An hour and a half later, a golf buggy whizzed by Melissa and took a turn ahead past the derelict village square. She was rifling inside her bag looking for a non-existent bottle of mineral water to quell the beginnings of a headache. Her head snapped up to see the historian, whose name she had already forgotten, on the buggy, looking incredibly embarrassed as he overtook the tourists. He gave a few of them a little wave of recognition and Melissa laughed, half wondering why he didn’t just go the whole hog and give them a royal wave.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Inheritance by Anne Allen (@AnneAllen21) @RaRaResources

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Many thanks to RaRaResources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Anne Allen and ‘The Inheritance’. I am delighted to be sharing my review for my stop on the tour, and thank you to Rachel for the ARC also.

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1862 Young widow Eugénie faces an uncertain future in Guernsey when her husband dies at sea. A further tragedy brings her to the attention of Monsieur Victor Hugo, exiled on the island and living in his voluptuous house only yards away from Eugénie. Their meeting changes her life and she begins working for him as a copyist, forming a strong friendship with both Hugo and his mistress, Juliette Drouet. 

2012 Doctor Tess Le Prevost, born in Guernsey, now living in Exeter, is shocked to inherit her Great-Aunt’s house on the island. As a child she listened to Aunt Doris’s tales of their ancestor, Eugénie, whose house this once was, and who, according to family myth, was particularly close to Hugo. Was he the father of her child? Tess doubts it, but inheriting the house allows her to make a fresh start in her beloved island. 

Will she discover the truth about Eugénie and Hugo? A surprise find may hold the answer as Tess embraces new challenges which test her strength – and her heart.

What does TWG think?

If you’re a fan of all things Guernsey then you’ll be pleased to know that ‘The Inheritance’ has 6 other brothers and sisters relating to the same topic! Yes, that’s right, this is book number 7 in the Guernsey series but it can be read on its own, so there is no to worry about whether you need to bulk read 6 novels before starting ‘The Inheritance’.

What a clever, multi-layered and complex story! Set during one of my most favourite periods in history, the Victoria era, ‘The Inheritance’ tells the story of Eugenie in diary form, as well as Eugenie’s very distant relative many, many years down the line, Tess. Both very different times, with both very different lifestyles, yet both stories were combined beautifully in a way that held my attention with bated breath.

Dual narratives always impress me as I cannot even begin to imagine just how technical the planning must be to ensure fluidity between the sections. Anne Allen has raised the bar sky high with her delivery of multiple narratives which include a lot of information both about the characters and the lives they led, and lead.

I did find that if I lost my focus on the storyline or stopped reading to go and do real life stuff, trying to pick back up where I left off was a task as I had lost the momentum. Putting it simply, you need to focus on the storyline 100%. ‘The Inheritance’ is such a complex storyline which requires your full attention and thought – ideal if you’re a fan of in-depth and heavy novels, but a bit confusing if you enjoy a simpler read.

Overall, I enjoyed the historic essence surrounding Eugenie’s past and the future she would never be aware of. I also loved learning more about Guernsey, a place I have yet to visit personally. ‘The Inheritance’ is an emotive, delicate yet atmospheric read which puts historic fiction on the map with a Big Bang. Beautifully written, Anne Allen really has done herself and her readers, very proud.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children, and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby.  Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist, but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, six having been published and the seventh, The Inheritance, is due out in 2018.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Anne-Allen-Author-176883759173475/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Giveaway to Win a copy of The Inheritance and a notebook (Open Internationally)

1st Prize – Signed copy of The Inheritance and notebook

2nd Prize – E-copy of The Inheritance and notebook 

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Cornish Lady by Nicola Pryce (@NPryce_Author) @corvusbooks @RaRaResources

Third and final blog tour of the day and TWG is stepping back in time with Nicola Pryce and ‘The Cornish Lady’. Apologies for the delay in posting this review, I have had a few fainting episodes this afternoon. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Cornwall:1796

Educated, beautiful and the daughter of a prosperous merchant, Angelica Lilly has been invited to spend the summer in high society. Her father’s wealth is opening doors, and attracting marriage proposals, but Angelica still feels like an imposter among the aristocrats of Cornwall.
When her brother returns home, ill and under the influence of a dangerous man, Angelica’s loyalties are tested to the limit. Her one hope lies with coachman Henry Trevelyan, a softly spoken, educated man with kind eyes. But when Henry seemingly betrays Angelica, she has no one to turn to. Who is Henry, and what does he want? And can Angelica save her brother from a terrible plot that threatens to ruin her entire family?

What does TWG think?

Oh I did enjoy this one! Historical fiction lovers, you are in for a treat! I didn’t quite pay attention to the fact that ‘The Cornish Lady’ is indeed the fourth book in the ‘Cornish Saga’ series. Thankfully though, I was more than capable of reading this installment as a standalone – ideal seeing as I hadn’t read the previous books.

Like most other historical fiction novels, the pace of this particular storyline wasn’t incredibly fast, and the author took her time in revealing pieces of information at a pace which suited the consensus of the overall book. If you’re not a patient person, slow burning novels can be a little frustrating to read. However if they are written in a way that is as magnetic as this, patience certainly becomes a virtue.

Angelica is a feisty character who tries to be something she isn’t, as though she constantly has to prove a point. Her fiery nature had me rooting for her from the start, especially as she was adamant that she wasn’t going to be how society wanted her to be in terms of marriage. ‘The Cornish Lady’ is set during a time where it was considered to be a ‘mans world’, but it was clear that Angelica would go above and beyond to not adhere to that.

I loved just how magnetic the overall storyline was, pulling me into an enthusiastically written story with minimal effort. I struggled to connect with several of the other characters in the book, I will admit, but the lack of connection didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the overall book.

I am so pleased that I took a chance on this book what with it being so far in a series; Nicola Pryce didn’t disappoint and left my historical tastebuds wanting more.

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About the author.

Nicola Pryce came to writing after a career in nursing. She has an Open University degree in Humanities and is a qualified adult literacy support volunteer. She is lives in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset and when she isn’t writing she’s probably gardening or scrubbing the decks. She and her husband love sailing and for the last twenty years they have sailed in and out of the romantic harbours of the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure: it is there where she sets her books.

The Cornish Lady is her fourth book: The others are Pengelly’s Daughter, The Captain’s Girl, and The Cornish Dressmaker.

Nicola is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Historical Writers Association.

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