An exclusive sample of Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman, featuring the first thirteen chapters.
A pure pleasure of a novel set in Georgian London, where the discovery of a mysterious ancient Greek vase sets in motion conspiracies, revelations and romance.
There is a fine line between coincidence and fate…
London, 1799. Dora Blake is an aspiring jewellery artist who lives with her uncle in what used to be her parents’ famed shop of antiquities. When a mysterious Greek vase is delivered, Dora is intrigued by her uncle’s suspicious behaviour and enlists the help of Edward Lawrence, a young man seeking acceptance into the Society of Antiquaries. Edward sees the ancient vase as key to unlocking his academic future. Dora sees it as a chance to restore her parents’ shop to its former glory, and to escape her uncle.
But what Edward discovers about the vase has Dora questioning everything she has ever known about her life, her family, and the world as she knows it. As Dora uncovers the truth she starts to realise that some mysteries are buried, and some doors are locked, for a reason.
Gorgeously atmospheric and deliciously page-turning, Pandora deals with themes of secrets and deception, love and fulfilment, fate and hope.
Out on 27 January 2022
Pre-order now. Amazon UK
I received an extract of this book from Random House UK Vintage via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
I have read an extract of this book, thirteen chapters, and I am intrigued to read what follows.
Set in Georgian England, the story weaves a mystical ethos as it introduces the main players of this Greek-inspired story. It centres on a recovered vase taken from a shipwreck. Pandora has aspirations to be a jewellery designer but is thwarted by misogyny. Her parents died mysteriously, leaving her in the care of her uncle Hezekiah who hasn’t respected her parents’ legacy. Edward is a young man with ambition. He wants to study antiquities and be accepted by the professional society, but his class stimies him despite being sponsored by a young aristocrat who appears emotionally attached.
The scene is set for Pandora and Edward to meet as her interest in her uncle’s latest acquisition intensifies. The extract ends as Pandora finds the vase…
This is atmospheric, with complex characters and an intriguing mystery. The legend suggests the reader can envisage what come next but can they. The historical detail and lyrical prose make this an absorbing and immersive reading experience that I would like to continue.