Do you love historical fiction? What makes you choose one book over another? For most of us, the cover is the first thing that attracts our attention.
Each month I will be choosing my ‘Pam’s Pick’. Hopefully, you will be intrigued enough to look beyond the covers I feature and find your next favourite author. If a cover interests you just click on the image to learn more about the book and buy if you wish.
And the not so small print: the judge’s decision is final (that would be me!) and is highly subjective.
Please note this is a cover competition only and does not constitute a review of any of the books featured. It’s up to you to explore. Happy Reading!
My September winner is:
Britannia’s Amazon by Antoine Vanner
I love this cover and it has nothing to do with the fact that Antoine and I write in the same period (well ok – just a smidgen!). This cover says adventure and intrigue to me – two of my favourite things. Congrats Antoine -a great cover for a great story.
1882: Florence Dawlish stands at the quayside in Portsmouth and watches the Royal Navy’s newest cruiser, HMS Leonidas, departing under command of her husband Captain Nicholas Dawlish. Months of separation lie ahead, quiet months which she plans to fill with charitable works.
Witnessing of the abduction of a young girl shatters that quiet, bringing Florence into brutal contact with the squalid underside of complacent Victorian society. With her personal loyalties challenged to the limit, and conscious that her persistence in seeking justice may damage her ambitious husband’s career, not to mention the possibility of prison for herself, Florence is drawn ever deeper into a maelstrom of corruption and violence. The enemies she faces are merciless and vicious, their identities protected by guile, power and influence.
Florence has faced danger before but it was shared then with her husband Nicholas. Now she must make the hardest decisions of her life without his support. And when legal measures prove futile she must make very difficult choices…
Britannia’s Amazon plays out in a world of extreme wealth and limitless poverty, marriages of American heiresses to British aristocracy and children starving in foul garrets, crusading journalists and hideously disfigured match-girls, arrogant aesthetes and ineffectual benevolence.
This is the fifth volume of the Dawlish Chronicles naval fiction series – action and adventure set in the age of transition from sail to steam in the later 19th Century. But in Britannia’s Amazon the action is driven by Florence, the indomitable wife whom naval officer Nicholas Dawlish met – and fell in love with – in the first of the series, Britannia’s Wolf. Fiercely devoted to the welfare of seamen and their families, she is to find that Britain itself offers dangers as lethal as her husband faces overseas.
As ever, there was stiff competition this month for the top spot. Here are the runners up in no particular order.
Can Caitriona and Michael’s love survive when it is opposed by the warring families in their small Irish village?
Ireland 1835: Faction fighting has left the parish of Doon divided between the followers of the Bradys and the Donnellans. Caitriona Brady is the widow of John, the Brady champion, killed two years ago. Matched with John aged eighteen, Caitriona didn’t love him and can’t mourn him. Now John’s mother is dead too, and Caitriona is free to marry again. Michael Warner is handsome, loves her, and he hasn’t allied himself with either faction. But what secret is he keeping from her? Is he too good to be true?
Three Hundred Years of Slavery. Greece, 373 BC. For three centuries, the Messenian people have been brutally subjugated by their Spartan neighbours and forced to work the land as helot slaves. Diocles, a seventeen-year-old helot, has known no other life but servitude. After an encounter with Spartan assassins, he is forced to flee, leaving behind his family and his love, Elpis. On Mount Ithome, the ancient sanctuary of the Messenians, he meets Aristomenes, an old rebel who still remembers the proud history of their people and clings to a prophecy that they will one day win back their freedom. A forlorn hope, perhaps. But elsewhere in Greece, there are others too who believe it is time that the power of Sparta was broken.
1910. Anna Garvey arrives in Caernoweth, Cornwall with her daughter and a secret. Having come from Ireland to take up an inheritance of the local pub, she and her eighteen year-old daughter Mairead are initially viewed with suspicion by the close-knit community.
Anna soon becomes acquainted with Freya Penhaligon, a vulnerable girl struggling to keep her family business afloat in the wake of her grandmother’s death, and starts to gain the trust of the locals. As their friendship deepens, and Freya is brought out of her shell by the clever and lively Mairead, even Freya’s protective father Matthew begins to thaw.
But when a part of Anna’s past she’d long tried to escape turns up in the town, she is forced to confront the life she left behind – for her sake and her daughter’s too . . .