Boy Falling

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “He hadn’t planned to say this thing, but it came upon him suddenly gargantuan and magnificent, like a whale breaching the glittering surface of the sea. “ Delicately laced with story intertwined with story, so authentic they appear to burst forth as if with a will of their own,…

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Love in a Time of Hate

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Chillingly prescient, insightfully nuanced and disturbingly evocative, this historical epic, based in New Orleans, follows the turbulence that rocked the state of Louisiana in the years following the Confederate loss of the Civil War. The second in a historical series from this author featuring Emmett Collins, I had not…

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The Mersey Angels

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Set in the early days of WW1 in Merseyside, Lancashire, this story follows the journey of Anna and Ellie, two young female nurses, who long to do their part to help in the war effort. It’s a grim and difficult period for those left behind - the docksides…

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The Secret of the Grand Hotel Du Lac

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Inspired by true events beginning in 1944, and populated with characters who are composites of real-life heroes and villains, this meticulously researched and wonderfully evocative novel is WWII at its most chilling. With WWII instead of the Cold War fueling the fear and desperation-driven machinery of war-time counter-intelligence…

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The Castilians

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Historical fiction at its absolute best. This fascinating foray into the beginnings of the Scottish Reformation tells the fictional tale of Bethia and her brother Will, children of a wealthy merchant who are caught up in the activities surrounding the historical seizure of St. Andrews castle and the…

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The Blue Hour

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Ever since I read my first novel by Rosamund Pilcher, decades ago now, I have been in love with books based in Cornwall. This book is no exception. Introducing Tilly Barwise, one of the most endearingly original “battle maidens” of WWII, and our first protagonist. Tilly’s story begins in…

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A Murder at Rosings

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Prepare to greet “Jane Austen meets Agatha Christie” in the delightful novel “Murder at Rosings”, by Annette Purdey Pugh, which was published by Honno on 17 June 2021. Taking off where Pride and Prejudice left off, it doesn’t take long for us to be drawn right back into the…

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Katharina: Deliverance

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Easily one of the best books I’ve read this year. Katharina is a sprawling, immersive and meticulously researched account of the early years of Katharina Von Bora, the fascinating and little-known woman who became the wife of Martin Luther, the German priest who triggered the Protestant Reformation, in 1525.…

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House of Rougeaux

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The House of Rougeaux is a sweeping multi-generational family history, beginning in the late 18th century on the isle of Martinique where we are introduced to the healer Abeje (Marie) and her brother Adunbi (Guillaume), bonded slaves and the children of Iya, who was herself brought over from Africa…

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