Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Saga

The Rector’s Daughter Jean Fullerton 5* #Review @CorvusBooks @JeanFullerton_ @rararesources #BlogTour #PublicationDay #HistoricalFiction #RomanticSaga #RegencyLondon #1825 #Engineering #FamilyDrama #Poverty

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Charlotte, daughter of Reverend Percival Hatton, has been content to follow the path laid out for her. Charlotte has an understanding with Captain Nicolas Paget – every inch the gentleman – who she expects someday to marry. But then she meets Josiah Martyn and everything changes…

A driven and ambitious Cornish mining engineer, and the complete opposite to Captain Nicholas, Josiah has come to London to help build the first tunnel under the river Thames. When unpredictable events occur at the inauguration of the project, Josiah and Charlotte are suddenly thrown into an unexpected intimacy.

 But not everyone is happy with Charlotte and Josiah growing closer. As friends turn to foes, will they be able to rewrite the stars and find their happy ever after, although all odds seem to be stacked against them…?

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I received a copy of this book from the author and Corvus Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Set in 1825, this romantic family saga explores the engineering feat of building the first underwater tunnel in London, by Brunel. The vision of this late Regency event comes across well in this story, but so does the human cost, of such a dangerous undertaking.

Charlotte is the Rector’s daughter, who since her mother’s untimely death has fulfilled the parish duties expected of a Rector’s wife. She is compassionate, clever and courageous, and does what she can to help the parish’s poor and unfortunate. The Rector is judgemental about his poorer parishioners. He is the antithesis of his daughter and prepared to put his material needs above his pastoral duties.

Charlotte meets Josiah, an engineer working for Brunel on the tunnel when he averts a near-tragic accident for her. The attraction although immediate and powerful builds through friendship when they meet on many occasions, through Charlotte’s parish duties and mutual acquaintances. Their romance appears ill-fated, when her father’s desire to maintain his reputation overrides the needs and wishes of his daughter, leading to an angst-ridden emotional climax to this story.

The historical background is well researched and written in a vivid real-time way that allows the reader to experience some of the events of the era. The characters are complex. Many are disagreeable but add to the story. All act in a way that fits with this exciting historical period. The social class divide is marked, but the evidence of change that the future Victorian era witnessed is seen here.

An absorbing plot, with vividly written characters, historical events, and a believable but utterly romantic love story, makes this the perfect book to curl up with on a cold winter’s afternoon.

#JeanFullerton

Jean Fullerton is the author of thirteen novels all set in East London where she was born. She also a retired district nurse and university lecturer.  She won the Harry Bowling Prize in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is halfway through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.

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Posted in Book Review, Crime, Family Drama

Home Truths Susan Lewis 5*#Review @susanlewisbooks @HarperFiction @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #FamilyDrama #Relationships #Crime #Poverty #Debt #homelessness

How far would you go to keep your family safe?

Angie Watts had the perfect ordinary family. A new home. A beloved husband. Three adored children.
 
But Angie’s happy life is shattered when her son Liam falls in with the wrong crowd. And when her son’s bad choices lead to the murder of her husband, it’s up to Angie to hold what’s left of her family together.
 
Her son is missing. Her daughter is looking for help in dangerous places. And Angie is fighting just to keep a roof over their heads.
 
But Angie is a mother. And a mother does anything to protect her children – even when the world is falling apart…

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I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins UK – Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

An intense family drama, with an authentically crafted contemporary plot.’ Home Truths’ is exactly what it says on the cover. A realistic and thought-provoking insight into people who are failed by the welfare system and wider society. The homeless, the young people recruited by crime gangs and abusers, and the millions of families drowning in debt.

I often read fiction for escapism, but this is not that. It gets your attention in a dramatic, tragic way, and then while you’re reeling from the horror, it explores the aftermath. Ordinary, people are drawn into lives of crime, debt and poverty, though, circumstances out of their control, poor decisions and unscrupulous individuals and organisations, who see a financial gain, and not the collateral damage their decisions leave behind.

Angie and her husband have what many people want, each other, children and somewhere to call home. When Liam as a child is corrupted by local gangs, it changes the course of their lives. This story follows Angie and her family, as she fights to keep her remaining family safe when everything is against her. Her situation is relatable, and her motivations to her imploding situation believable and disturbing.

The story manages to highlight the issues, whilst delivering a gripping family drama. ‘Home Truths’ is an excellent story, with a realistic, and positive conclusion. It makes you think, about contemporary issues and the society’s blame culture and lack of compassion.