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 December winner is:
A Scarlet Woman by Lorna Peel
These haunting images combine to make a really great cover and one that would attract my eye in a bookshop. Of course there is the added appeal of the book being based in my home town of Dublin and in my favourite era. Well done, Lorna!
Dublin, Ireland, 1880. Tired of treating rich hypochondriacs, Dr Will Fitzgerald left his father’s medical practice and his home on Merrion Square to live and practice medicine in the Liberties. His parents were appalled and his fiancée broke off their engagement. But when Will spends a night in a brothel on the eve of his best friend’s wedding, little does he know that the scarred and disgraced young woman he meets there will alter the course of his life.
Isobel Stevens was schooled to be a lady, but a seduction put an end to all her father’s hopes for her. Disowned, she left Co Galway for Dublin and fell into prostitution. On the advice of a handsome young doctor, she leaves the brothel and enters domestic service. But can Isobel escape her past and adapt to life and the chance of love on Merrion Square? Or will she always be seen as a scarlet woman?
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As ever, there was stiff competition this month for the top spot. Here are the runners up in no particular order.
During the oppressive heat wave of 1976 a young journalist, Ed Peters, finds an Edwardian photograph in a junk shop in the seaside town of Brightland. It shows an alluring, dark-haired girl, an actress whose name was Leda Grey. Enchanted by the image, Ed learns Leda Grey is still living – now a recluse in a decaying cliff-top house she once shared with a man named Charles Beauvois, a director of early silent film. As Beauvois’s muse and lover, Leda often starred in scenes where stage magic and trick photography were used to astonishing effect. But, while playing a cursed Egyptian queen, the fantasies captured on celluloid were echoed in reality, leaving Leda abandoned and alone for more than half a century – until the secrets of her past result in a shocking climax, more haunting than any to be in found in the silent films of Charles Beauvois.
May, 1914. Nestled in Sussex, the Summerhayes mansion seems the perfect country idyll. But with a long-running feud in the Summers family and tensions in Europe deepening, Summerhayes’ peaceful days are numbered.
For Elizabeth Summer, the lazy quiet of her home has become stifling. A chance meeting with Aiden Kellaway, an architect’s assistant, offers the secret promise of escape. But to secure her family’s future, Elizabeth must marry well. A man of trade falls far from her father’s uncompromising standards.
As the sweltering heat of 1914 builds to a storm, Elizabeth faces a choice between family loyalty and an uncertain future with the man she loves.
One thing is definite: this summer will change everything
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