Author: Barbara Erskine
Published: April 2021 by HarperCollins
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction
In a cottage hidden amongst the misty Welsh hills of Offa’s Dyke, Bea Dalloway is called to help Simon Armstrong, who is searching for peace. Instead he finds himself disturbed by unsettling noises and visions.
It isn’t long before Bea is also swept up by haunting dreams. The past is whispering to them, calling out for the truth to be told at last. And as dreams and reality weave closer together, Bea and Simon must be strong to resist the pull of the past – and its desire for revenge…
Simon Armstrong has rented an isolated cottage situated on on the Welsh Marches, close to what remains of Offa’s Dyke, while he concentrates on writing his next book – a history of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. The peace and seclusion he envisaged is interrupted by the desperate sounds of a woman sobbing, calling out a name and banging at the door, but he has never been able to catch a glimpse of anyone. The owner of the cottage puts Simon in contact with Bea Dalloway, the local Canon Treasurer’s wife, who deals with strange occurrences. Bea is intrigued by Simon’s account of the unsettling disturbances he is subjected to.
Author: Caren J. Werlinger
Published: September 2021 by Corgyn Publishing
Category: Contemporary, Historical, Fiction, Religion, Literary
Patricia Horrigan is the eldest daughter of a family determined to gain entry into the upper echelons of Rochester society as the 1950s give way to the turbulence of the 60s. Born of an Irish father and a French-Canadian mother, Pip inherited the stubborn pride and fierce determination of both.
In present time, Lauren Thackeray has managed to put her life back together—in a manner of speaking. She has her weaving, her home, her chosen family, and she has the monastery and the lasting friendship of the nuns there. The one thing she doesn’t have, she doesn’t want. She won’t open her heart again after she barely survived the last time.
I enjoyed In This Small Spot so much I jumped at the chance to read An Unlit Candle. Told in two alternating timelines, part sequel, part prequel, and woven together beautifully. I think this story would definitely benefit from being read after In This Small Spot.
We first meet Patricia (Pip) Horrigan in the late 1950s as she and brother accompany their parents to a ball at the Wasserman’s, where it pays to be seen. Mr Wasserman would play an ongoing role in Pip’s life.
Author: Amanda Mason
Published: September 2019 by Zaffre
Category: Dual Timeline, Paranormal, Drama, Book Review
1976. Loo and her sister Bee live in a run-down cottage in the middle of nowhere, with their artistic parents and wild siblings. Their mother, Cathy, had hoped to escape to a simpler life; instead the family find themselves isolated and shunned by their neighbours. At the height of the stifling summer, unexplained noises and occurrences in the house begin to disturb the family, until they intrude on every waking moment . . .
Loo, now Lucy, is called back to her childhood home. A group of strangers are looking to discover the truth about the house and the people who lived there. But is Lucy ready to confront what really happened all those years ago?
Author: Hazel Gaynor
Published: September 2018 by Harper Collins
Category: Historical Fiction, Book Review
“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”
1838: when a terrible storm blows up off the Northumberland coast, Grace Darling, the lighthouse-keeper’s daughter, knows there is little chance of survival for the passengers on the small ship battling the waves.
1938: when nineteen-year-old Matilda Emmerson sails across the Atlantic to New England, she faces an uncertain future.
I love books that mix fact with fiction, giving a real authenticity to the story. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter incorporates the true story of Grace Darling.
Author: Sarah Mitchell
Published: August 2018 by Bookouture
Category: Contemporary, Historical, Fiction, Dual Timeline, Book Review
Norfolk, 1940: Sylvia’s husband Howard has gone off to war, and she is struggling to raise her two children alone. Her only solace is her beach hut in Wells-Next-The-Sea, and her friendship with Connie, a woman she meets on the beach. The two women form a bond that will last a lifetime, and Sylvia tells Connie something that no-one else knows: about a secret lover… and a child.
Canada, present day: When Martha’s beloved father dies, he leaves her two things: a mysterious stash of letters to an English woman called ‘Catkins’ and directions to a beach hut in the English seaside town of Wells. Martha is at a painful crossroads in her own life, and seizes this chance for a trip to England – to discover more about her family’s past, and the identity of her father’s secret correspondent. Continue reading
Author: Kate Vane
Category: Dual Time Line, Contemporary Fiction, Book Review
BBC foreign correspondent Paolo Bennett is exiled to a London desk – and the Breakfast sofa – when he gets a call from Mark, a friend from university in eighties Leeds. Paolo knew Mark as a dedicated animal rights activist but now a news blog has exposed him as an undercover police officer. Then Mark’s former police handler is murdered.
Paolo was never a committed campaigner. He was more interested in women, bands and dreaming of a life abroad. Now he wonders if Mark’s exposure and his handler’s murder might be linked to an unexplained death on campus back when they were friends. What did he miss?
Paolo wants the truth – and the story. He chases up new leads and old friends. From benefit gigs and peace protests, to Whatsapp groups and mocktail bars, the world has changed, but Mark still seems the same.
Is Mark the spy who never went back – who liked his undercover life better than his own? Or is he lying now? Is Paolo’s friend a murderer?
BBC journalist/reporter Paolo Bennet was recording a report when his phone rang. The caller was Mark, an old friend from his student days, with an urgent appeal for him to come to Leeds.