The Seduction of the Glen
By Michelle Deerwester-Dalrymple
Today I present a new book, that’s a bit of a different type in some ways for my blog, thanks to Rachel Gilbey and her Random Resources blog tours for inviting me to take part. So, fill your boots and discover romance and warriors in the Highlands of Scotland. Take a look to see what the book is all about.
A fierce Highland warrior, loyal to his king. His beautiful English captive. He has promised her protection, but will he have to risk his own life to do so?
John Sinclair, faithful warrior for Robert the Bruce, makes a fateful wager with his brother: whoever wins Aislynn’s affections will wed her. Only Aislynn de Valence, niece to the English King, is a captive of the Bruce, sent to the Highlands as a prisoner and for her own protection. The last thing she wants it to wed her enemy.
To win the wager and the woman, John woos Aislynn with his whole heart. But the Highlands are unstable. And no one in the Highlands is ready to welcome an Englishwoman into their midst.
When Aislynn learns that she was nothing more than a prize in a wager, she decides she’s had enough of Scotland and its Highlanders. Can John convince Aislynn of his true intentions and protect her when she needs him the most?
The Fall of the House of Byron By Katy Brand Rated:****
Newstead Abbey is a place I know well. I have played in its ground as a child in the school summer holidays, when visiting relatives. I have explored both the grounds and the abbey with more of a keen adult eye too, so this book was of interest to me. I am very grateful to publisher – Hachette UK for allowing me to review the book.
The book is quite unique in the perspective it takes as it talks about lives, loves, deaths and no matter where else the book takes you, it does have a focus on Newstead Abbey itself too, as a building, a home, an estate and how it is all part of the society. It is such a unique perspective on all of the Byron family. It is informative as well as emotional and yet matter of fact in Georgian England. There are a few good photos and a few poem excerpts as well, to tell their family story. So, take a look at the blurb and my review. I have inserted a photo of Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, that I took on one of the visits there.
In the early eighteenth century, Newstead Abbey was among the most admired aristocratic homes in England. It was the abode of William, 4th Baron Byron – a popular amateur composer and artist – and his teenage wife Frances. But by the end of the century, the building had become a crumbling and ill-cared-for ruin. Surrounded by wreckage of his inheritance, the 4th Baron’s dissipated son and heir William, 5th Baron Byron – known to history as the ‘Wicked Lord’ – lay on his deathbed alongside a handful of remaining servants and amidst a thriving population of crickets.
This was the home that a small, pudgy boy of ten from Aberdeen – who the world would later come to know as Lord Byron, the Romantic poet, soldier, and adventurer – would inherit in 1798. His family, he would come to learn, had in recent decades become known for almost unfathomable levels of scandal and impropriety, from elopement, murder, and kidnapping to adultery, coercion, and thrilling near-death experiences at sea. Just as it had shocked the society of Georgian London, the outlandish and scandalous story of the Byrons – and the myths that began to rise around it – would his influence his life and poetry for posterity.
The Fall of the House of Byron follows the fates of Lord Byron’s ancestors over three generations in a drama that begins in rural Nottinghamshire and plays out in the gentlemen’s clubs of Georgian London, amid tempests on far-flung seas, and in the glamour of pre-revolutionary France. A compelling story of a prominent and controversial characters, it is a sumptuous family portrait and an electrifying work of social history.
Pic of Newstead Abbey – taken by Louise – writer of this blog
Pic of Newstead Abbey – taken by Louise – writer of this blog
The book starts in late summer, 1798 and takes readers on a grand tour. The writing is exquisite and the content is rich. I very much like that we meet Joe, a long time steward and readers will then be treated to a tour of Newstead Abbey and into its past and of its priory and monks. The grand tour is written so well, that even if you haven’t been there before, you get a real sense of the Abbey and its grounds and the history each room holds. It’s almost as though you are there on the tour itself. The Abbey is steeped in history, in George’s ancestry, love and scandal. It’s interesting to learn a bit more about the tragic Frances. In 1726 There was another baby born into the Byron family and such congratulations from Thorsebury Hall and Welbeck Abbey (which can still be visited too) and many more high-standing people such as the Duke of Newcastle at Clumber Park (it is a fine and lovely Nottinghamshire park. I played there as child and walked round with the tread of adult feet).
This book is about Newstead Abbey and the Byrons. It isn’t so much about the life and death of the poet Lord Byron, who we all know, but more how they came to have Newstead Abbey and about the generations of Byrons, perhaps the stories that are less familiar and less told. It is however no less interesting, scandalous and emotional. The author has also told of some of the politics of the time (thankfully not too much). As much as I may have liked to read a bit more about the Lord Byron we know more about and about Newstead Abbey, this is still a very good book. It’s perhaps more unique than that of what has been done before, because there is certainly no reason why all the Byrons shouldn’t be written about. Everything is also put into context very neatly as it also looks at a wide scope of social and political history too. It all adds interest to them and to Newstead Abbey, which is steeped in history, even from the angle Emily Brand has taken. I recommend it.
The book tells of the successes in battle out at sea and of love, as well as the tragedies and ultimately their downfall. The book takes readers, of course to Newstead Abbey itself, but also to other places around Nottinghamshire in England and up to Scotland and abroad, in what is a book so well-written that it feels so remarkably easy to read. The facts are all there, but in such a form that flows even easier than the water mentioned throughout the book. The chapters are named after parts of Newstead Abbey itself, which not only ties in the abbey, although the book also talks about other places, it also feels like this writer is respectful in doing this.
The book then moves onto time spent in London, a far cry from leafy Sherwood Forest, and its new developments and re-builds after the Great Fire of London and the coronation of a new king. There is a well-written contrast between London and the beauty and the nature within Newstead Abbey.
The education of the children is also mentioned and you can feel some of the anguish around it. You learn a great deal about the Byrons and their early life and as their lives develop, sometimes also colliding with tragic times.
The Byron’s certainly were busy as they got involved in shipping on trade and business voyages. There’s also a tragic disappearance of a ship.
Slight political elements are mentioned and this, apart from being interesting as they formed the Byron’s lives, it also firmly, but informally, places useful timelines on what was happening in the wider world too as it goes into events on the fields of Flanders and Scottish clans, as well as skirmishes and worse, that was happening in Edinburgh, Scotland and further up to Culloden, Inverness and up to Aberdeen as this was Jacobean times, before turning attentions back onto Newstead Abbey and the renovations and additions, William introduced to the exterior and interior. I like that someone said the Byron’s were good landlords. There is however, much scandal, including murder. This book really does seem to cover it all, as well as certain ways Lord Byron voted. However, it seems to be Newstead Abbey that is a love and he seems drawn back to Nottinghamshire and his visions for it.
The Upper Lake takes readers back to sea, documenting the life and trials there and it’s certainly rough and nothing about it is romantic. I feel the author speaks of a truth and authenticity about the realities of being out at sea.
The Great Dining Hall is back on land with George Byron at Halanby Hall, on his honeymoon as he wed Annabelle Millbanke. He seems romantic, but prone to a temper. Readers can also learn how Byron’s sister became the Countess of Carlisle and her pregnancy and of the entertainment. The writing changes tone, from that of the sea. It has a more romantic air, but each draws you in nearer and yet there always seems to be heartbreak and troubled, tortured times, in amongst the better days.
Folly’s Castle takes readers to the time Lord Byron spent there with fellow poet companions, such as Shelley. The chapter also goes into more revolutionary times and was also happening in America as New York became under British control. Again, however all is not well back at Newstead as it tells of how things were auctioned off at a nearby Mansfield auction house and back at sea was treacherous. The detail put into this, is interesting. It also looks at what was happening in France at the time, with a new Princess being born into Versailles, all the while ensuring attentions are also focussed on Newstead and the Byrons and more scandal over love affairs, this time with Amelia and Jack and their child. I get the feeling times would not have been dull, working within the properties the Byrons used, as a footman was about to find out. This part also shows Daws in Lancashire and how his property is also somewhat failing .
The Great Gallery is fascinating about the changing fashions in music as Mozart bursts into the music scene and man is starting to conquer the skies, it alludes almost to the Byrons having to try to catch up due to them actually slowing down, which in earlier chapters seemed quite impossible to imagine and yet their reputation seemed to preceed them. There are also by now, new friends readers will meet and of course more highs and lows to encounter. It also takes readers to when Sophia is in Bath, the society and her troubles there. I love that the attention again goes back to the state of Newstead Abbey. It’s interesting to read what locals at the time, thought of the statues being installed there.
The Chapel not only looks at some financial and health issues, but also an incredible storm in 1787. The description, brief as it is, of what happened to part of Newstead Abbey is powerful. There is great sadness however over deaths and a dwindling generation, that is written with great sensitivity, whilst telling the facts.
The Epilogue – Cloisters is interesting and mentions Joe and his wish to be buried by Boatswain. I can tell you, because I have seen it, there is a memorial to Boatswain in the grounds, with the most beautiful poem on it. The Epilogue also provides a very well written conclusions about to those who made up the Byrons and their depth of character.
There is a beautiful, but somewhat emotional poem in the appendix.
As I finish the book, in some ways, I didn’t quite want to end it and in some ways there is an overriding sense of satisfaction and also a mysterious calm, when you do reach the end, that I had not expected. Perhaps because there is so much heartbreak and anguish within the book. It is so well researched and written that it is in many ways, lavish, yet not unrealisitically so. It feels like Emily Brand has done this justice. It isn’t dramatic or sensational in any way. What there is however, is a sense of satisfaction and of knowing more about the Byrons than you might have done previously to reading this book.
*Photos are taken by Louise, writer and owner of this blog, to illustrate, to those who perhaps don’t know what Newstead Abbey looks like today.
Betrayal By Adam Croft and Steven Moore Rated: 4.5 stars
I am delighted to be reviewing again for Adam Croft, after receiving an email from his wife Joanne Croft. This time I return to the writings of Adam Croft and Steven Moore in their political thriller series, featuring the detective Sam Barker (the first being Absolution, which is a gripping read). They do act as stand-alone too. I thank Adam and Joanne Croft for inviting me to review again and for providing me with a book.
In Edinburgh, the British Prime Minister prepares to launch a worldwide project to tackle climate change. But there’s a far more sinister motivation behind her plans.
After successfully thwarting a terrorist attack in London a few months earlier, Sam Barker is tasked with investigating a scheme which will turn his life — and the world — upside down.
As he delves deeper into the network of players, Sam uncovers a conspiracy which leads to the one person he loves the most — his son.
But in revealing the facts, Sam risks flushing out a far more sinister, unknown enemy — a rogue agent inside The Firm who will stop at nothing to stop Sam from exposing the truth.
Sell your land! Promise of a better life! Promise of an exciting job! Hidden Secrets, Betrayed! That’s what Obefemi’s family is confronted with. Obafemi is promised – a new life in Dubai, with a job to build a geothermal plant with Mr Riley. Not all is as it should have been. There lies a secret within the company.
The setting is between Sub-Saharan Africa and Edinburgh, Scotland, which is wanting greener energy and to do deals with the company EcoHope and have the treaty, which would include them, all signed off at the climate change summit. This is incredibly current as this is what is happening in Scotland. Locations, names and groups have been changed, but the fact that is cleverly weaved through the fiction is all there and is recognisable. There are a few real people mentioned, such a Greta Thunberg, Emma Thompson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, all in context of climate change activism on the grander scale and the good that they had been doing, sort of a bit of a nod to them.
Sam Barker is then invited to re-locate from London to Edinburgh, which he is delighted about as his son Benji lives there. Early on I also get the feeling Sam Barker is in for an education about Scotland to debunk the myths he believes about the country. It really doesn’t always rain in Scotland and as I write this, it is dry, although the week before, there were hailstones and that’s a whole other thing. I’m expecting glorious sunshine this weekend, just like last. Back to the book…
Bridget Hazelwood is the new PM fronting the summit at Edinburgh Castle and all eyes or on it and climate change activist group Eyes on Extinction as well as green energy group EcoHope. They have a darker streak, threading its way through all the eco-friendly mantra that’s got them to the summit and to be the company that’s the player in the treaty. Professor Mctavish also seems to know more than he is letting on. It’s the curiosity and the entire plausibility of companies that may be unscrupulous that keeps the need to read further, going. There is also a death and the killer could be one of the climate change activists or someone connected to EcoHope. The further and deeper Sam Barker investigates, the more the book picks up pace, the more gripping it becomes.
As the investigation takes Sam around Edinburgh, readers will get a good sense of the city and some of the geography of it. I found myself being just a bit impressed by what was included. For readers of my blog, who don’t know, I do actually live in Scotland and under normal circumstances, I visit this city.
Sam and colleagues also have a real need to keep Benji (Sam’s son) safe as there’s a real threat something could happen to him. It just adds to the twists within this story even more.
Adam Croft and Steven Moore have brought a very-well observed, current climate situation to life in this book with flair and shows all the murky sides, as well as the good.
About the Author
With almost two million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past few years, having sold books in over 120 different countries.
His 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow became one of the bestselling books of the year, reaching the top 10 in the overall Amazon Kindle chart and peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.
His Knight & Culverhouse crime thriller series has seen huge popularity worldwide, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.
In 2016, the Knight & Culverhouse Box Set reached storewide number 1 in Canada, knocking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also number 1 in Canada. The new edition of Her Last Tomorrow also reached storewide number 1 in Australia over Christmas 2016.
During the summer of 2016, two of Adam’s books hit the USA Today bestseller list only weeks apart, making them two of the most-purchased books in the United States over the summer.
In February 2017, Only The Truth became a worldwide bestseller, reaching storewide number 1 at both Amazon US and Amazon UK, making it the bestselling book in the world at that moment in time. The same day, Amazon’s overall Author Rankings placed Adam as the most widely read author in the world, with J.K. Rowling in second place.
In January 2018, Adam’s bestselling book to date, Tell Me I’m Wrong became a worldwide bestseller and quickly went on to outsell Her Last Tomorrow.
Adam has been featured on BBC television, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, the BBC World Service, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlets.
In March 2018, Adam was conferred as an Honorary Doctor of Arts, the highest academic qualification in the UK, by the University of Bedfordshire in recognition of his services to literature.
Adam presents the regular crime fiction podcast Partners in Crime with fellow bestselling author Robert Daws.
Steven hails from the south east of England, where he grew up (the jury’s still out) surrounded by the North Sea on one side and the Norfolk broads on the other.
As well as writing fction, Steven is an amateur painter and photographer, though his frst love is the great outdoors. Restless and unfulflled by his late teens, the travel bug bit early, and to date Steven has lived and worked on fve continents and has visited close to sixty countries, combining that age-old writing adage with his own mantra: ‘Write not onlywhat you know, but where you know.’
A late entry into further education yielded a degree in Anthropology, Archaeology and Art History, and those disciplines, as well as the travelling and the endless adventures, all feature prominently in Steven’s bestselling action thriller series featuring Hiram Kane.
When not on the road with his travel-writer wife Leslie, they call San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, home, where they live with their two cats, Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald (Ernie & Fitz).
You can find more of Steven’s books at: stevenmooreauthor.com
Great Book Festivals in 2019
Final Blog Post of 2019
I went to Bloody Scotland. This festival takes place annually in September, in Stirling across a few venues, most notably – The Golden Highland Hotel and The Royal Albert Halls. It attracts top authors and those debuting or looking for a festival to pitch their book ideas. It is lots of fun and an amazing and friendly experience in such a compact city.
I went to see Richard Osman from Pointless and House of Cards tv fame (look out for his crime fiction book The Thursday Murder Club in autumn 2020) and Mark Billingham. His latest book is – Their Little Secret. Full review is on my blog. I am looking forward to his book and hoping he returns to Bloody Scotland in 2020. I thank again, Richard Osman for the quick and nice chat and Mark Billingham for signing my book and for a nice chat. I also saw Ian Rankin, who is also very good and very interesting, talking about his latest Rebus Book – In a House of Lies. I thank Ian Rankin again for the quick chat.
There is also a torchlight parade, which I took part in.
In 2018, I saw the author M.C. Beaton – author of Hamish Macbeth, Agatha Raisin and many others and actor Ashley Jensen – tv credits include Agatha Raisin, Love, Lies and Records, Ugly Betty and much more.
It attracts many, many more authors and their website and brochure is always worth checking out. This is a popular festival, so it is worth seeing who is on relatively early as tickets do sell out. I had such a great time, so had to go back in 2019.
I look forward to returning to Bloody Scotland in 2020 and seeing who the authors will be.
My review of Richard Osman with Mark Billingham can be found on my blog.
I was invited back to Morecambe and Vice Crime Book Festival to review the entire weekend of amazing panels and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. This festival attracts an array of authors and speakers to Morecambe and is quirky, fun, interesting and informative. It even attracted a podcast. The authors varied from children’s authors to YA to adult fiction and non-fiction. There were talks about festivals and what it takes to set them up and the different types. There were topical talks about mental health too. I saw so many authors that it would be quite some list to mention them all, but there are blog posts about each of them in each panel within my blog.
I went first of all in 2018 after a conversation with actor and writer Hugh Fraser. It’s a long story… So, moving on, I was excited when I was invited by the organisers Ben and Tom to return. I look forward to seeing who the panels will be in 2020.
This is a newer and growing festival which is becoming established and making a name for itself, so is worth checking out.
Full reviews of each panel can be found on my blog.
So these are great festivals that will still be around in 2020 that are worthwhile checking out.
I have, before my blog began been to other book festivals, such as Edinburgh and Harrogate, which are also great, but the two I have written about here are the most recent and the festivals I have been to and they are the 2 I have attended whilst writing my blog.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and all the best for 2020. Thank you to all for following my blog. There are more exciting reviews from books to stage and more, to come in 2020, which I hope you will also enjoy and be inspired by. Thanks too for all the organisers and authors, speakers for making these experiences possible.
First in the Fight – 20 Women Who Made Manchester By Helen Antrobus and Andrew Simcock
Rated:5 stars *****
I am delighted and very excited to be part of this blog tour for the People’s History Museum for their book – The First in the Fight. Expertly put together by the historian and author Helen Antrobus and Andrew Simcock, this book celebrates women who yes, are important to Manchester, but in-turn, also made a huge impact on the UK as a whole, which we still see today. So, whether you are in Manchester or elsewhere, please do take time to find out what this book is actually all about. It covers more than you would think in the lovely short sections that are just a few pages long. They certainly keep the interest going and that want to read on.
Emmeline Pankhurst stands proudly in St Peter’s Square, but she stands for so many more… From the women who marched to St Peter’s Fields flying the flag for reform to the first entrepreneurs, the women of Greater Manchester have long stood shoulder to shoulder in the fight for equality and social change. For the centenary of some women being able to vote in 2018, the journey began for a statue to be erected, symbolising the incredible lives and achievements of Manchester’s radical women. Glimpse at the lives of the twenty women who were long-listed in the campaign, who all made Manchester first in the fight for freedom, and feminism.
Behold these women who stood up for women’s rights. Some for the right to vote, others for workers rights and there are other women who inspire for other reasons as well.
This beautiful book important, influential women who have made a great impact, not just in Manchester, but across the entire UK, your mind may turn to the Pankhursts. The book does cover them, but there are also women who have done great things, who are less known or in the midst of time have been largely forgotten about, with their being at least one, almost being erased from history altogether.
This is a book I would recommend to anyone wanting to know more about social and political history and the women’s lives who were part of change or achieved great things that weren’t within the political sphere too. That’s what is so great here, is the variety of women who are showcased in this book. The book nicely starts off with a very interesting bit about Manchester and its history before taking each individual women and allowing readers to learn something about who they were and who they became. It certainly is a valuable book full of substance. It is beautifully presented in the way it is written, with each woman just having a just few pages about them. It is also very well illustrated from the cover right down to the pages inside. Even the front cover seems fitting and eye-catching.
Let me take you on a short journey in tim to whet your appetite for reading this book.
The women who have been so well researched for this book are:
Margaret Downes – read about her; discover what happened to her and Peterloo and some other, perhaps more prominent women who would have been around too.
Margaret Ashton – a leading lady from Lancashire who was in the fight for equality and yet later had her name all but erased for quite some time. Find out how her name resurfaced and about her upbringing that brought her perhaps to the Suffrage movement.
Mary Quaile – Born in Dublin, her family and her moved to Manchester and were from a poor working class background. Read about the her and other women who tried for equality in the workplace. Find out more about these women and the TUC here.
Esther Roper – An orphan, she was one of the first women to attend Robert Owen’s College. Scots would know him for championing worker’s rights at New Lanark (now a great museum). She also wanted to continue where Lydia Becker left off (mentioned further below). Delve further into this part and you’ll find out more about her and her connections with suffragettes.
Ellen Wilkinson – one of the first women to be voted into parliament and is also famous for leading the Jarrow March. Read her section to find out how she ended up in parliament and a bit about her life as a child and her death.
Lydia Becker – largely forgotten in the tides of history, she had sympathies with the working class and also wrote a book about the suffragettes and set up a literary society with the focus on science. There’s much to be discovered in this part about her.
Christabel Pankhurst – The Pankhursts played host to many reformers such as Keir Hardie from Scotland, William Morris – the English textile designer, activist etc and many more people, who you can discover in the book. There’s interesting bits about the relationship between Christabel and Emmeline to find out too.
Sylvia Pankhurst – she had artistic and political leanings and led an interesting life in both her achievements and how family relations were with her.
Emmeline Pankhurst – Perhaps not the first in the fight for women, but perhaps one of the most well-known and influential women to fight to gain the vote. There are snippets here and there however that perhaps you may or may not already know, so it’s still worth reading.
Elizabeth Gaskell – One of the most influential authors of her time who also became acquainted to other well-known authors such as Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte. There are other parts of her life however that is perhaps less well-known and yet also fascinating, such as charitable work, other people who she met and life in general that aren’t so well-known.
Enriqueta Rylands – she came across to Manchester from Cuba, other women shouted louder, so sadly she is sometimes overlooked and yet she is just as important. She was the founder of the John Ryland’s Library (perhaps a bit more well-known than herself as it is now a world landmark for literary lovers and historians. The library still exists today). Read more in this section about how she came to being in the UK, the overshadowing and her legacy to the world.
Annie Horniman – she certainly lived a varied life and not one that would instantly spring to mind. Expect the somewhat unexpected here. There are many parts to her life that are very worth reading and is written in such a way that you would really get a good impression of what this woman was like.
Olive Shapley – She presented Women’s Hour in the 1930’s (a radio 4 programme that still runs today) and created a safe house for women. There’s even more to this woman than meets the eye and some of it quite risky for the time. So read on to find out more about this pioneering woman.
Marie Stopes – she fought for birth control and more. She, however, is a controversial woman who had (perhaps unfortunately) eugenics firmly in her sights and more can be found out in the book.
Shena Simon – she championed for better education and active citizenship (however it was Ellen Wilkinson who was the first Minister of Education in 1945), but she nevertheless seemed to do quite a lot, which can be discovered in her part.
Kathleen Ollerenshaw – one of the greatest mathematicians in the country (UK), she advocated for a lot educationally and died in 2014. There’s so much of her life that would have been, perhaps unknown until now…
Louise Da-Cocodia – the section starts with a great sounding African proverb, before moving onto her time within the NHS and being part of the “windrush” generation and creating a legacy.
Elizabeth Raffald – long before Mary Berry and Nadia Hussain and lots of other people who you can think of today who are bakers, there was Elizabeth Raffald. A woman who was making waves in the business world and unbeknown to her she has left a legacy, of which more can be read about as well as a bit about her life.
Emily Williamson – She was passionate about the conservation and preservation of wildlife. Her passion really shines through and I she would fit well in today’s most influential conservationists etc such as David Attenborough and Chris Packham. Her life is different from that from the social campaigners and worth reading to uncover more.
Sunny Lowry – She swam the Channel. Again different from the social or political activists, but it shows women can do this and also take a moment to read this section as this isn’t just about achieving swimming the Channel (although impressive in itself), this is about much more that came into being afterwards.
To conclude, this is absolutely a fascinating book to read a really worthwhile getting. There are so many interesting parts that aren’t specifically about the women mentioned too, such as how it came about that there would be a statue for Emmeline Pankhurst and the work that went into that. There are well presented photos of this too, which were taken in very recent times. I highly recommend this book for anyone to read.
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty Rated: 5 Stars*****
Bronte Mettlestone has been brought up in a very sensible way by her Aunt Isabelle and the Butler. So when her absent parents are killed by pirates and she’s sent on a whirlwind visit to her other ten aunts, she takes it all in her stride. But Bronte’s outwardly sensible nature holds a core of steel and courage, and through her adventures, with water sprites, avalanches, elves and dragons, Bronte shows herself to be the kind of heroine we would all wish to be. This wonderful novel is witty, lively and full of magic and surprises – everything readers young and old could ask for. The kind of novel where you need to make a pot of tea (preferably cloudberry), find a really comfy sofa in front of a roaring fire, and settle in for a magical journey of your own.
Thanks to Guppy Press for allowing me to join them on this book’s amazing adventures by sending me a proof copy ofThe Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty to review, of which I very much appreciated.
By the time I was near the end of this wonderful book, full of adventures I was on my own adventure on a train. So, whether you are on a train or sitting in your home all cosy, this book will allow you to explore many more kingdoms and meet many more people and fantastical creatures. So sit down, relax and allow your imagination to take over and allow some time to escape into this book.
There is a wonderful map at the beginning of the book showing where the places are that readers will travel as they follow Bronte Mettlestone on her inconvenient adventures within this book. Already I am wondering what the inconvenience is about going on and adventure. It is a great title and I love maps like these. They not only assist in setting the scene, this one in-particular also adds to the excitement of what may be next within the rest of those pages.
From the first page there is action and movement depicted as well as sadness to a certain extent. Bronte is 10 years old and is strong, brave and a likeable character.
This is no ordinary book and things aren’t always quite what you would expect and indeed this book reached more than my expectations. There’s an unusal will, but then her parents were killed in an unusual way, not every child can say their parents were killed by pirates, no matter when they die. Then there’s a quest. Firstly to deliver gifts by following instructions to the letter, right down to the mode of transport to take. This is a quest that she must do alone, so must leave her aunt behind. We first meet her with Aunt Isabelle and then Aunt Sue who lives in Livingstone, Scotland.
There are many great characters to meet and any reader is in for quite the adventure. There are pirates on the loose, causing trouble and Lantern Island to visit.
There is a bit of a mystery about a pepper grinder and a library with books with magical properties. There are many curiosities about this book that would make any child want to read further and delve deeper into this magical adventure with a bit of a detective story too.
Travel into different kingdoms and encounter sprites and dragons and more…
These kingdoms are well constructed and wonderfully imaginative. There is enough to feed into the curiosity and expand the imagination of any child.
The book deals with some pretty big topics but is done so sensitively and are all beautifully wrapped up in the adventures.
It may seem like a big book 389 pages, but there are lovely pictures supporting the written word. The text is a very decent size. The story is an excellent pace and one that has great adventures to mesmerize all children who enjoy a bit of bravery and exploration. It is all written with great imagination, with the worlds developed in ways that children will love and understand. Jaclyn Moriarty has weaved the familiar and the fantasy together very well for children to create this compelling story.
The story has a great ending that children will, through all the adventure, all the trepidation, find it wraps up well at the end and is great escapism.