Anne Bonny Top 5 #Victorian Era #Historical Picks from the TBR pile @JessKiddHerself @storyjoy @claireevans113 @paraicodonnell @And_Hughes @canongatebooks @BloomsburyRaven @wnbooks @BooksSphere @TransworldBooks

***Some titles I am DYING to read from the mammoth TBR pile, in no particular order***

things in jars
Things In Jars by Jess Kidd
Available in HB/Ebook/Audible
Synopsis ~

London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.

As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may well prove the most remarkable spectacle London has ever seen.

Things in Jars is an enchanting Victorian detective novel that explores what it is to be human in inhumane times.

the anarchists club
The Anarchists’ Club by Alex Reeve – Leo Stanhope #2
Available in HB/Ebook/Audible – PB in March 2020
Synopsis ~

It’s been a year since Leo Stanhope lost the woman he loved, and came closing to losing his own life. Now, more than ever, he is determined to keep his head down and stay safe, without risking those he holds dear. But Leo’s hopes for peace and security are shattered when the police unexpectedly arrive at his lodgings: a woman has been found murdered at a club for anarchists, and Leo’s address is in her purse. When Leo is taken to the club by the police, he is shocked to discover there a man from his past, a man who knows Leo’s birth identity. And if Leo does not provide him with an alibi for the night of the woman’s killing, he is going to share this information with the authorities.

If Leo’s true identity is unmasked, he will be thrown into an asylum, but if he lies… will he be protecting a murderer?

the fourteenth letter
The Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans
Available in HB/Ebook/Audible/PB
Synopsis ~

Phoebe Stanbury was killed in the summer of secrets…

One balmy June evening in 1881, Phoebe Stanbury stands before the guests at her engagement party: this is her moment, when she will join the renowned Raycraft family and ascend to polite society.

As she takes her fiancé’s hand, a stranger holding a knife steps forward and ends the poor girl’s life. Amid the chaos, he turns to her aristocratic groom and mouths:
‘I promised I would save you.’

The following morning, just a few miles away, timid young legal clerk William Lamb meets a reclusive client. He finds the old man terrified and in desperate need of aid: William must keep safe a small casket of yellowing papers, and deliver an enigmatic message: The Finder knows.

With its labyrinth of unfolding mysteries, Claire Evans’ riveting debut will be adored by fans of Kate Mosse, Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Jessie Burton.

the house on vesper sands
The House On Vesper Sands by Paraic O’Donnell
Available in HB/Ebooks/Audible/PB
Synopsis ~

‘Ladies and gentlemen, the darkness is complete.’

It is the winter of 1893, and in London the snow is falling.

It is falling as Gideon Bliss seeks shelter in a Soho church, where he finds Angie Tatton lying before the altar. His one-time love is at death’s door, murmuring about brightness and black air, and about those she calls the Spiriters. In the morning she is gone.

The snow is falling as a seamstress climbs onto a ledge above Mayfair, a mysterious message stitched into her own skin. It is falling as she steadies herself and closes her eyes.

It is falling, too, as her employer, Lord Strythe, vanishes into the night, watched by Octavia Hillingdon, a restless society columnist who longs to uncover a story of real importance.

She and Gideon will soon be drawn into the same mystery, each desperate to save Angie and find out the truth about Lord Strythe. Their paths will cross as the darkness gathers, and will lead them at last to what lies hidden at the house on Vesper Sands.

the convictions of john delahunt
The Convictions Of John Delahunt by Andrew Hughes
Available in HB/Ebook/PB
Synopsis ~

On a cold December morning in 1841, a small boy is enticed away from his mother and his throat savagely cut. But when the people of Dublin learn why John Delahunt committed this vile crime, the outcry leaves no room for compassion. His fate is sealed, but this feckless Trinity College student and secret informer for the authorities in Dublin Castle seems neither to regret what he did nor fear his punishment. Sitting in Kilmainham Gaol in the days leading up to his execution, Delahunt tells his story in a final, deeply unsettling statement . . .

Dublin in the mid-19th century was a city on the edge – a turbulent time of suspicion and mistrust and the scent of rebellion against the Crown in the air, Beautifully written, brilliantly researched and with a seductive sense of period and place, this unnervingly compelling novel boasts a colourful assortment of characters: from carousing Trinity students, unscrupulous lowlifes and blackmailers to dissectionists, phrenologists and sinister agents of Dublin Castle who are operating according to their own twisted rules. And at its heart lie the doomed John Delahunt and Helen, his wife. Unconventional, an aspiring-writer and daughter of an eminent surgeon, she pursued Delahunt, married him and thereby ruined her own life. And as for Delahunt himself, we follow him from elegant ballrooms and tenement houses to taverns, courtrooms and to the impoverished alleyways where John Delahunt readily betrays his friends, his society and ultimately, himself.

Anne Bonny #BookReview A Mother’s Grace by @RosieGoodwin 4* #Victorian #saga #HistoricalFiction @BonnierZaffre

cover
A Mother’s Grace by Rosie Goodwin
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Tuesday’s child is full of grace . . .

Warwickshire, 1910.

Pious young Grace Kettle escapes the world of her unsavoury and bullying father to train to be a nun. But when she meets the dashing and devout Father Luke her world is turned upside down. Her faith is tested and she is driven to make a scandalous and life-changing choice – one she may well spend the rest of her days seeking forgiveness for . . .

My Review:

A Mother’s Grace opens in 1891, Nuneaton and tells the life story of Grace Kettle. A story of overcoming adversity against the odds. It was perfect weekend reading.
I love a lazy Sunday with a saga on the sofa!

December 1891, Madeline marries Judge Jacob Kettle it is the wedding night of nightmares! So early on, you get a real understanding of the vile atrocious man Jacob is. For Madeline it is a marriage of convenience to secure herself a future away from poverty. For Jacob it is a marriage of dominance and control.

By 1892 Jacob has inherited new property which also comes with new staff Mrs Batley, Mabel and Harry. The staff are the only friends Madeline will ever have. The also really brighten the novel, Mrs Batley pushes back against Jacob’s frugal and verbally abusive manner. But she can’t save Madeline who continues to be regularly verbally abused…..
“Speak when you are spoken to, woman” – Jacob

The novel constantly brings alive the era and even more so when baby Grace Victoria is finally born. With little or no help from physicians and Jacob away from home. Madeline is left weak from the birth and never fully recovers.
She is firmly told, that she must bare no more children.

June 1897, Grace is now a young girl and the apple of her father’s eye. Her mother remains weak from her birth, But Grace enjoys the time she gets to spend with her. Grace also has a nanny Betty Donovan, who enjoys teaching Grace about life outside the property. However, Grace’s father remains possessive and controlling of her time and attention. Which I began to worry would become an unhealthy fixation.

By July 1902 Grace is now 10yrs old and her father appears to resent her maturity and attempts to cajole her as if she were much younger. When Madeline notices this, she organises to send Grace to her Aunt Gertie’s in Wales on ‘holiday’.
It is merely a temporary fix.

But in Wales Grace thrives. Gone is the occasional spoiled little madam act. Grace enjoys the local nature, people and becomes fascinated by the local convent and Catholic faith.
It is ultimately this holiday that matures Grace well beyond her years. For which she will need, as from her 16th birthday, life for Grace changes rapidly. 4*

RG
Rosie Goodwin
Website
Twitter

My #BlogTour #Review Her Mother’s Daughter by @eviegrace2017 @arrowpublishing 5* #NewRelease #Saga by @annebonnybook

*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*

Her Mothers Daughter - Jacket
Her Mother’s Daughter by Evie Grace
Synopsis:

Canterbury, 1853

Agnes Berry-Clay might have been born into rags but she is growing up with riches.
Given away as a baby by her real mother, she was rescued and raised by her darling Papa and distant Mama. Agnes wants for nothing, except perhaps a little freedom.

But as times goes on, her life at Windmarsh Court changes. New arrivals and old resentments push Agnes to the peripheries, and finally the consequences of one fateful day shatter her dreams for the future.

Heartbroken and surrounded by the threat of scandal, Agnes is faced with a terrible choice: stay and surrender, or flee and fight to keep her freedom.

My review:

Canterbury 1853, Agnes Berry-Clay born into rags buts raised in riches at Windmarsh Court. Her loving adopted father James owns a local brewery, Agnes wants for nothing, except perhaps a little bit of freedom…….

When the novel opens Agnes, is just 14yrs old. She lives in a world surrounded by the help. Where her every need and whim, is met. The wealthy family have a cook Mrs Nidget, a housekeeper Mrs Turner and Agnes’s beloved governess/nanny Miss Treen. But Victorian England is a stifling time for a young woman to be reaching her adulthood.
An era when children should be seen and not heard, where women must ‘know their place’ in society.

“You would be wise to practice obedience until it becomes a habit. When you marry, you will be required to carry out the duties of the lady of the house without question or complaint” – Nanny

Over the course of the beginning of the novel. We learn Agnes’s true parentage. Her adopted mother Louisa, is cold, rude and abrupt towards her. Once Louisa discovers she is pregnant with her own child, which she believes is a much-wanted son. Agnes feels even more emotionally abandoned. But her father remains to treat the children as equals. When Henry is finally born, Agnes does bond with the new arrival.

The novel also features her uncle Rufus, auntie Sarah and cousins Phillip and Edward. Philip longs to be a man of medicine, but this is met with much disapproval. In the Victorian era, the profession of medicine, was often scoffed at by the upper class.
The novel deals with various themes of the Victorian era, with the class system as a central running theme.

Agnes develops into a young woman over the course of the novel. But she is growing up spoilt, rude and uncaring due to the wealth that is showered upon her. As a punishment for her behaviour, her father arranges for her to spend some time with her Nanny’s family. In the hope that witnessing a family from much more humble beginnings, will calm her attitude.
But no one can know, how much this introduction, will come to mean so much to Agnes.

The novel progresses, this time jumping four years ahead to Agnes’s impending 19th birthday. A party is organised as a way to introduce her to high society. With the ultimate goal of securing Agnes, a worthy marriage prospect.
In the preparations for the impending party, Agnes is informed of some painful home truths. Secrets and lies that uproot everything Agnes has ever believed in. It is these secrets that explode at the party, making Agnes a cuckoo in the nest…..

In the aftermath of the party and Agnes’s introduction to high society as an absolute failure. Her mother conspires to marry her off, to her cousin Phillip. Something Agnes neither desires nor wants.
But the cost of her freedom, will mean abandoning everything she has ever known. Does Agnes have the courage to find her own future?

This novel really is a novel of two parts. The first half explains her background and Agnes draws you into her storyline slowly, page by page. I was completely HOOKED on the second half of the novel. Agnes will fully come to understand the implication of ‘hard times’ and poverty. Life for Agnes is going to be far from easy! But in the typical style of a saga novel. I closed the final pages with a smile on my face.
I am a huge fan of saga novels. One of my favourites of all time, Remember Me by Lesley Pearce is set within this era. Although the novels are entirely different in their respective themes. I thought Evie Grace has done a phenomenal job of portraying the era.
This is most definitely her best book yet! 5*

EG
Evie Grace
Website
Twitter

Evie Grace was born in Kent, and one of her earliest memories is of picking cherries with her grandfather who managed a fruit farm near Selling. Holidays spent in the Kent countryside and the stories passed down through her family inspired her to write Half a Sixpence.

Evie now lives in Devon with her partner and dog. She has a grown-up daughter and son.

She loves researching the history of the nineteenth century and is very grateful for the invention of the washing machine, having discovered how the Victorians struggled to do their laundry.

Her Mother’s Daughter is Evie’s second novel in the Maids of Kent trilogy.

*Don’t miss the other blogs on the #BlogTour and the #Giveaway with @arrowpublishing tomorrow via Twitter*
Her Mothers Daughter Blog Tour Banner