Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

This is just a superb book in the best family drama tradition and I could hardly put it down.  Telling of the experiences of two families living next door to one another from the 1970s onwards, the story focuses most closely on Pete and Kate, best friends until tragedy pulls them apart. The novel manages … Continue reading Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier has turned her hand to more recent history in this novel, which is set in the 1930s.  She’s written a story of social and domestic history as colourful and rich in detail as one of the kneelers her heroine sets out to create. Violet Speedwell is a spinster of a certain age living … Continue reading A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

Anna-Marie Crowhurst – The Illumination of Ursula Flight

A witty and ebullient account of a young woman in the seventeenth century, The Illumination of Ursula Flight tells the tale of her childhood, early marriage and development in this historical novel. Ursula grows up in a country manor house, her imagination and intelligence encouraged by her father (unusually for the day) and rather frowned … Continue reading Anna-Marie Crowhurst – The Illumination of Ursula Flight

Imogen Hermes Gowar – The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock

A fabulously detailed historical novel set in 1700s London. Josiah Hancock has received a little more than he bargained for when the captain of his ship comes back with a mermaid. He is inducted into Georgian pr when he attempts to publicise the curiosity more widely - the coffee shops and salons were the social … Continue reading Imogen Hermes Gowar – The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock