A collection of five #histfic novels. No Woman Is An Island: Pandora’s Boxset 1 by @LizaPerrat, Linda Gillard, @LornaFergusson, @clarefly and @helenahalme #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Noelle. She blogs here https://saylingaway.wordpress.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Noelle has been reading No Woman Is An Island: Pandora’s Box Set #1

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Four stars out of five for the collection.

Blood Rose Angel by Liza Perrat

Héloïse is a midwife living in the French village of Luci-sur-Vionne in the mid-twelfth century.  Her midwifery work and skills at healing cause whisperings in the village that she might be a witch.  When her husband Raol returns from Florence, he brings with him a peddler who carries the Black Plague. People in the village begin to die and needing a scapegoat, Héloïse is a perfect target.

The author’s research has created a stunning tale of a medieval village in the throes of the Black Plague. It is filled with wonderful descriptions and character emotions which I have come to expect from this author’s work having read and enjoyed several of her previous books.

Hidden by Linda Gillard

Hidden is a time-shifting story. 

Miranda Norton inherits a sixteenth century house – and the art collection within – called Myddleton Mote.  Recently divorced from an overbearing and brutish husband, she finds herself at a crossroads in her life and decides to move on and live in the house. During some restoration work, Miranda discovers a secret that the house has held for a hundred years.

This is a cleverly devised story that captures the reader from the start. The house is not only a setting but also a character unto itself with its incredible atmosphere. Part of the book deals with PTSD and I thought that the author dealt with this authentically and balanced the emotional matter well with the other story threads.

The Chase by Lorna Fergusson

The Chase differed greatly from the previous two books. I did not know this author before reading it but found that her writing captivated me.

Set in the beautiful Dordogne region of France. Once again, a house plays a vital role. Le Sanglier is a very old house buried deep in the woods. After the tragic death of their son, Gerald hopes that moving to France and restoring Le Sanglier to some of its former glory will make his wife Annette emerge from the fog of their tragedy.

The author’s power of description of place and emotions was stunningly beautiful and although I was not drawn to the story, I read on, entranced by the author’s written word.

The Chalky Sea by Clare Flynn

Set in England during WW II, the story paints a very realistic picture of the vagaries and horror of war.

Glen Collinwood lives in Eastbourne on the eastern coast of England. Jim Armstrong is a wheat farmer in Ontario, uncertain whether he should volunteer for the army. As the war progresses, Gwen translates German radio broadcasts, the job which Jim, who is later billeted in her house, will take over.

The author brings in some interesting facts – the Canadian army volunteers and how the German bombed non-critical targets to demoralize the British.

I enjoyed this historical romance. The characters were for the most part believable and the settings rendered with such realism that the reader is sucked into the story.

Coffee and Vodka by Helena Halme

Eeva has a happy life in Finland, then Pappa moves the family to Stockholm and Eeva’s life changes.

This novel is a dark story of family dynamics; human frailty is the basis of the story and the faults in each of characters are on full display.

A well-written novel, it is a dish of reality served up by an author who knows how to present it. The setting – Finland and Sweden – was novel for me, and of the characters were well drawn and never boring. It was a good, if hard, read.

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Together for the first time: award-winners and trail-blazers. 5 international women authors showcase 5 unforgettable novels.

Blood Rose Angel, by Liza Perrat
1348, France. A bone-sculpted angel and the woman who wears it—heretic, Devil’s servant, saint.
Despite her bastardy, Héloïse has earned respect in the French village of Lucie-sur-Vionne for her midwifery and healing skills. Then the Black Death sweeps into France.

Hidden, by Linda Gillard
A birth. A death. Hidden for a hundred years.
1917.“Lady, fiancé killed, will gladly marry officer totally blinded or otherwise incapacitated by the war.” When Miranda Norton inherits Myddleton Mote and its art collection she is haunted by the dark secrets of a woman imprisoned in a reckless marriage.

The Chase, by Lorna Fergusson
The past will hunt you down.
Gerald Feldwick tells his wife Netty that in France they can put the past behind them. Alone in an old house, deep in the woods of the Dordogne, Netty is not so sure. Netty is right.

The Chalky Sea, by Clare Flynn
July 1940. When bombs fall, the world changes for two troubled people.
Gwen knows her husband might die in the field but thought her sleepy English seaside town was safe. Amid horror and loss, she meets Jim Armstrong, a soldier far from the cosy life of his Ontario farm. Can war also bring salvation?

Coffee and Vodka, by Helena Halme
Eeva doesn’t want to remember, but in Finland she must face her past.
‘In Stockholm, everything is bigger and better.’ Her Pappa’s hopes for a better life in another country adjust to the harsh reality but one night, Eeva’s world falls apart. Thirty years later, Eeva needs to know what happened.

AmazonUk | AmazonUS

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