Author: Margaret Skea
Published: October 2017 by Sanderling Books
Category: Historical Fiction, Book Review
Following the death of her mother and her father’s remarriage, five-year-old Katharina is placed in the convent at Brehna. She will never see her father again.
Sixty-five miles away, at Erfurt in Thuringia, Martin Luder, a promising young law student, turns his back on a lucrative career in order to become a monk.
The consequences of their meeting in Wittenberg, on Easter Sunday 1523, will reverberate down the centuries and throughout the Christian world.
Margaret Skea has painted a convincing and sympathetic portrait of Katharina Von Bora, who became the wife of Martin Luther, despite the fact that little is known about her. As the author states: this is a fictionalised account of how her early life might have been. The story is a combination of fiction and the facts gleaned by the author through thorough research.
I hadn’t gone out with the intention of taking photographs, so didn’t have my camera. This was too good an opportunity to miss though, so out came the phone.
Plas Mawr was thought to be the finest town house of the Elizabethan period in Britain.
The owner, Robert Wynn, was a prosperous merchant who loved grandeur. His house, built between 1576 and 1585, said to have cost around £800, reflects his status and wealth.
- Author: William Ryan
- Published: This edition, June 2017 by Pan
- Category: WWII, Historical Fiction, Books, Reading
The pain woke him up. He was grateful for it. The train had stopped and somewhere, up above them, the drone of aircraft engines filled the night sky. He could almost remember her smile . . . It must be the morphine . . . He had managed not to think about her for months now.
It’s 1944 and Paul Brandt, a German soldier, horrifically wounded and returning from the front, is on a hospital train bound for recuperation, convalescence and finally, home and his father. The village he had left years before, and the people, were not the same. By the same token, neither was Paul. His experiences have left him demoralised and guilt ridden. Continue reading
Don’t ask a woman her age … and expect the truth
That boys lied about their ages to enlist in 1914 is common knowledge. Less well known is that women did too. This blog features two unusual women who felt age was no bar to ‘doing their bit’.
In 1917, Mabel Lethbridge was desperate to become a ‘mutionette’ and work in the Danger Sheds where highly explosive materials were handled; the minimum age was 18. A rebellious teenager, she was accepted at 7 National Filling Factory at Hayes Common. On her way to work on her first morning, she rather dismissed the comments of a woman in the bus queue who, hearing Mabel’s destination, comfortingly confided, this was “one of them terrible places … twelve months come Christmas I lost my eldest … all blowed to bits she was … we never got her body home.”
In Mabel’s Shed, dangers extended beyond high explosives. The machinery they were using to fill shells with amatol had been condemned over a year ago; replacements had arrived but were not yet operational. Soon disaster struck,
A dull flash, a deafening roar and I felt myself being hurled through the air, falling down, down into the darkness. A blinding flash and I felt my body being torn asunder. Darkness, that terrifying darkness, and the agonised cries of the workers pierced my consciousness. (Mabel Lethbridge Fortune’s Grass) Continue reading
It was just by chance we found this tiny little hamlet of Edlingham, which comprises only a small group of houses and sits in a beautiful valley. I love finding unexpected treasures like this. Included in this out of the way place is the medieval 11th century church of St John the Baptist. According to the information booklet in the church, there were earlier wooden structures on the site but the first stone building took shape during the year 1000.
Sometimes it’s nice to see the basic and unpretentious structure without all the opulence and wealth associated with the church in later years. Continue reading
The lovely, incredibly tiny chapel would originally have been more open to the elements, now the foreshore location is protected by a sea wall and promenade. It’s reputed to be the smallest in the UK, seating just six people comfortably. The original ‘cell’ is believed to have been founded here by St Trillo, previously a monk on Bardsey Island, in the 6th century AD. Opinions differ regarding the age of the present building, which has been restored several times over the years. Continue reading
- Author: Terry Tyler
- Kindle Edition
- Category: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
LAST CHILD is the sequel to Kings and Queens, Terry Tyler’s modern take on the story of Henry VIII and his six wives.
Harry Lanchester is gone, his legacy passed on to his children:
Thirteen year old JASPER, who views the directors of Lanchester Estates as Harry Potter characters, and finds out that teenage love affairs are no fairytale.
ISABELLA, the eldest daughter; lonely and looking for love, she returns from a holiday in Spain with more than just a suntan.
Impulsive, independent ERIN, the girl of Transport manager Rob Dudley’s dreams, whose priority is not a husband and family, but the continuation of her father’s work.
You will also meet the ambitious Jim Dudley, ex-nanny Hannah Cleveley, Rob’s long suffering wife Amy, and Raine Grey, whose nine days as PR manager for Lanchester Estates have a devastating effect on her life.
LAST CHILD takes the drama, passion and intrigue of Kings and Queens into the present day, with echoes from the past ~ and a glimpse or two into the future…
Following on from the impressive Kings and Queens, The Last Child tracks the fortunes of Harry Lanchester’s children, Isabella, Erin and Jasper. The narrative flows smoothly, with chapters from several of the main characters’ perspectives, each moving the story along seamlessly. Again, Terry Tyler very cleverly parallels each fascinating character with their Tudor equivalent, in a modern day setting and with her own unique interpretation.
Ex nanny, Hannah Cleveley opens the story the year after Harry’s fatal heart attack. Lanchester Estates is being managed by Ned Seymour, young Jasper’s uncle, until he comes of age, with assistance from Jim Dudley. There’s no love lost between the two men and Isabella and Erin support opposing camps which doesn’t make for easy business relations especially when Isabella finds out that Erin has sold some shares to Jim Dudley.
Jasper, at thirteen, is more interested in getting up to mischief with his friends, and other people who should know better. Grounded for drinking, Jaz (he won’t answer to Jasper any more) records his thoughts on a dictaphone at Hannah’s suggestion. Reading his take on his life is amusing and sad at the same time.
I used to have a half-brother, too, or would have done if he hadn’t been killed in a surfing accident just before I was born, in California. Way to go, or what? His name was Harry, like my dad, who’s also dead. So’s my mum.
Tensions are running high at Lanchester Estates as Isabella heads the company after another family tragedy, and starts to implement her less than popular strategies. Disliked at work and lonely in her private life Isabella makes a relationship choice that is ultimately her undoing.
And Erin, beautiful and dedicated to the continuation of her father’s company, rectifies the consequences of Isabella’s reign at Lanchester Estates. In love with Rob Dudley, their on, off and on again relationship runs throughout the story, but determined never to marry, not having had any experience of happy ever afters to make her reconsider.
I always knew I would never get married. Marriage makes you unhappy or dead, from what I’ve witnessed.
It’s impossible not to be drawn in by these very realistic and distinct personalities. I love the writing style very much, the humour and the easy, eloquent expression. The complex relationships and complicated family dynamics, the love, loss, and the promise of new life, along with the devastation of dementia and the complexities of mental illness are all written extremely well.
I also love Jim Dudley and Raine Grey’s romance and I’m so glad their characters weren’t too closely represented by their historical counterparts, they are two of my favourites and their relationship is very moving and quite tragic. This is so compelling and after the ending I hope there will be more to come!
I reviewed this book as part of Rosie Amber’s book review team
About the author
Terry lives in the north of England with her husband, and has published ten books on Amazon. Readers say she has created her own genre, which lies somewhere in the area of contemporary drama and romantic suspense, with the occasional bit of rock fiction and mystery thrown in.
LAST CHILD is her latest release; this is the sequel to Kings and Queens, both of which are modern day parallels of events that took place during the Tudor era of history. Terry is now at work on a third ‘history revisted’ novel, this time based on the women behind the Wars of the Roses.
Terry has a blog on which she writes about anything from her favourite TV shows to observations about social networking trends, and also writes for the UK Arts Directory about self-publishing. This year she started a new book blog; on this you can find her own reading choices and those she reads as part of Rosie Amber‘s book review team. All three blogs are widely read. She is an active Twitter user, and can also be found on Goodreads and Facebook.