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 November winner is:
The Beauty Shop by Suzy Henderson
I love the colours and images used in this cover because they perfectly convey what the story is about. Having read this book last year, I can also confirm that the story is just as good as the cover!
War changes everyone, inside and out. The remarkable true story of the Guinea Pig Club.
England, 1942. After three years of WWII, Britain is showing the scars. But in this darkest of days, three lives intertwine, changing their destinies and those of many more.
Dr Archibald McIndoe, a New Zealand plastic surgeon with unorthodox methods, is on a mission to treat and rehabilitate badly burned airmen – their bodies and souls. With the camaraderie and support of the Guinea Pig Club, his boys battle to overcome disfigurement, pain, and prejudice to learn to live again.
John ‘Mac’ Mackenzie of the US Air Force is aware of the odds. He has one chance in five of surviving the war. Flying bombing missions through hell and back, he’s fighting more than the Luftwaffe. Fear and doubt stalk him on the ground and in the air, and he’s torn between his duty and his conscience.
Shy, decent and sensible Stella Charlton’s future seems certain until war breaks out. As a new recruit to the WAAF, she meets an American pilot on New Year’s Eve. After just one dance, she falls head over heels for the handsome airman. But when he survives a crash, she realises her own battle has only just begun.
Based on a true story, “The Beauty Shop” is a moving tale of love, compassion, and determination against a backdrop of wartime tragedy.
* * *
As ever, there was stiff competition this month for the top spot. Here are the runners up in no particular order.
All in the name of love…
For as long as Richard Hartford can remember he has wanted to see Turkey, and explore the antiquities of the once mighty Ottoman Empire.
Now, he is fulfilling that dream alongside his sister, Olivia.
Since their parents died in a carriage accident when she was 16, the siblings have been very close. Now 23, Olivia is a strong woman who knows her own mind.
Before Richard left their family estate for Turkey, he sent Olivia to London for the season, hoping she would find herself a husband. But scandal erupted when Lord Craybook, a gambler with huge debts who knew he could not win her hand any other way, set out to compromise her, keeping Olivia away from home overnight.
Olivia’s aunt, who she was staying with in London, insists she marry Lord Craybrook, but Olivia refuses and is shipped off to Turkey to avoid the inevitable scandal.
Yet Olivia soon falls in love with the magical land of Turkey and she soon meets a number of interesting people, like Lady Hester Stanhope, niece of the prime minister of England, and intrepid world traveller.
And then there is the handsome Selim, cousin to the Sultan.
Selim works as an ambassador for the Sultan and Olivia quickly falls irrevocably in love with him. Things are looking quite promising for Olivia, until Lord Crayrook shows up, determined to win her hand.
Is Olivia destined to live a life of solitude and regret?
Or will her past stay buried long enough for her to have her happy ending?
Filled with the rich detail of the sunset of the Ottoman Empire, Scandalous Lady is a love story that crosses cultures and boundaries, showing what is possible when love is at stake.
Sally Swann thought life couldn’t get much worse. Then a single coin changed hands.
A dismal cottage in the heart of Bolton, Lancashire, has been Sally’s prison since Joseph Goden ‘bought’ her from the workhouse as his wife. A drunkard and bully, Joseph rules her with a rod of iron, using fists and threats to keep her in check.
When Sally gives birth, however, she knows she must do anything to save her child from her husband’s clutches. She manages to escape, and taking her baby, flees for the belching chimneys of Manchester, in search of her only relative.
But with the threat of discovery by Joseph, who will stop at nothing to find her, Sally must fight with every ounce of strength she has to protect herself and her son, and finally be with the man who truly loves her. For a fresh start does not come without a price . . .