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Evelyn is struggling to come to terms with the loss of her brother in the Great War, and to make her own way in the world - when a woman arrives with her brother's illegitimate child...
Living at home with her mother, aunt, and grandmother, Evelyn is still haunted by the death of her younger brother James in the First World War. She is also determined to make a career for herself as one of the first female lawyers. So when the doorbell rings late one night and a woman appears, claiming to have mothered James's child, her world is turned upside down.
Evelyn distrusts Meredith at first, but also finds that this new arrival challenges her work-obsessed lifestyle. So far her legal career has not set the world alight. But then two cases arise that make Evelyn realise perhaps she can make a difference. The first concerns a woman called Leah Marchant whose children have been taken away from her simply because she is poor. The second, Stephen Wheeler, has been charged with murdering his own wife. It is clear that Wheeler is innocent but he won't talk.
In the meantime, Meredith makes an earth-shattering accusation about James - and Evelyn falls in love with a man engaged to be married. With the Wheeler case coming to a head, and her heart in limbo, Evelyn takes matters into her own hands...
The page-turning sequel to THE CRIMSON ROOMS by the author of bestselling Richard & Judy Book Club pick, THE ROSE OF SEBASTOPOL.
London, 1926. Evie Gifford, one of the first female lawyers in Britain, is not a woman who lets convention get in her way. She has left her family home following a devastating love affair, much to her mother's disapproval.
London is tense in the days leading up to the General Strike and Evelyn throws herself into two very different cases - one involving a family with links to the unions and the other a rich man who claims not to be the father of his wife's child. Evie is confronting the hardest challenge of her career when she is faced with an unexpected proposal - just as her former lover returns.
How can she possibly choose between security with a man she admires and passion for the man who betrayed her?
'An epic yet heartbreakingly intimate novel of conflict and betrayal, and of the pain of lost love' Kate Mosse
A long-buried secret, a heart-breaking betrayal...
Estelle never really knew her mother, Fleur, but is haunted by her legacy. A legendary resistance heroine in the Great War, she had helped Allied soldiers escape from Belgium - and was not alone in paying a terrible price.
Christa's father was one of those Fleur saved - but he returned home a ruined man. So, when Estelle arrives on Christa's doorstep hungry for information about her mother, an intense and complex friendship is ignited.
In 1939, as conflict grips Europe once more, Estelle follows her mother's destiny. Then Christa discovers that Fleur was betrayed by someone close to her and the truth may destroy them all...
'A beautiful, romantic and touching book. The prose is elegant and evocative and, McMahon's research is scholarly and meticulous' Jonathan Lynn, film director
'Katharine McMahon is a historical novelist who can turn her hand to any period and bring it thrillingly alive. [The Hour of Separation is] very possibly her best and most powerful book so far' Readers Digest
'Tender and painterly...rather beautiful' Irish Times
Two lives torn apart by the French Revolution...
1788. Asa Ardleigh, the impressionable daughter of a country squire, has travelled to Paris with her sister Philippa and Philippa's new husband. In the heady days before the Revolution, they find a city fizzing with new ideas - and Asa meets and falls in love with a dashing revolutionary, Didier Paulin. When Asa is forced to return to England, their affair is curtailed, but they continue to exchange letters as storm clouds gather over France and war with England looms.
Back in England, no one knows of Asa's liaison as the family's financial worries put pressure on her to marry. But then disturbing news reaches Asa from France, and she must decide whether to follow her head or her heart...
From the author of Richard and Judy Book Club choice, THE ROSE OF SEBASTOPOL
'A first-rate historical romance: it's hard to think it will be bettered this year' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
When two strangers enters the manor of a brilliant alchemist and his talented young daughter, nothing will remain the same...
Dark secrets haunt the manor house at Selden in Buckinghamshire, where Emilie Selden, motherless, fiercely intelligent and beautiful, has been raised in near isolation by her father. John Selden, student of Isaac Newton, is conducting a secret experiment. He aims to turn Emilie into a brilliant natural philosopher and alchemist and fills her with knowledge while recording every step she takes.
In the spring of 1725, when Emilie is eighteen, father and daughter begin their most daring adventure - an attempt to breathe life into dead matter. But they are interrupted by the arrival of two strangers. During the course of a sultry August, Emilie is caught up in the passion of first love and, listening for the first time to her heart rather than her head, she makes her choice - with consequences that are far-reaching and tumultuous.
A spellbinding novel of love and courage set in the England, Italy and Florence Nightingale's Crimea.
A Richard and Judy Book Club bestseller - includes a fascinating and moving brand new final chapter.
Russia, 1854. As the Crimean War grinds on, Rosa Barr - young, headstrong and beautiful - travels to the battlefields, determined to join Florence Nightingale and save as many of the wounded as she can.
For Mariella, Rosa's cousin, the war is contained within the pages of her scrapbook, her sewing circle, and the letters she receives from Henry, her fiancé, a celebrated surgeon who has also volunteered to work within the shadow of the guns. But when Henry falls ill, and Rosa's communications cease, Mariella finds herself drawn inexorably towards the war.
Following the trail of her elusive and captivating cousin, Mariella's epic journey takes her from the domestic restraint of Victorian England to the ravaged landscape of the Crimea. As she ventures deeper into the dark heart of the conflict, Mariella discovers her own strengths and passions through Rosa's tough lessons of concealment, faithfulness and love.
When Henry falls ill and is sent to recuperate in Italy, Mariella impulsively decides she must go to him. But upon their arrival at his lodgings, she and her maid make a heartbreaking discovery: Rosa has disappeared.
Following the trail of her elusive and captivating cousin, Mariella's epic journey takes her from the domestic restraint of Victorian London to the ravaged landscape of the Crimea and the tragic city of Sebastopol. As she ventures deeper into the dark heart of the conflict, Mariella's ordered world begins to crumble and she finds she has much to learn about secrecy, faithfulness and love.
'This is everything a good historical romance should be' GOOD BOOK GUIDE
'This book is little short of masterful. ..This is easily one of my favourite books of the last decade.' Goodreads 5 stars
'Absolutely loved this book, a real insight to women of a certain time' Goodreads 5 stars
'Feels like a dramatic, sweeping, tragic historical epic that you could imagine as a brilliant costume drama film' Goodreads 5 stars
The compelling, powerful story of two women, separated by a hundred years, but linked by the lives they choose and the decisions they make.
1849: Bess Hardemon arrives at the grimly Dickensian Priors Heath school, little knowing that she will one day end up as an inspiring and legendary headmistress - but at considerable personal cost.
1970: Sarah Beckett is delighted to gain a place at Priors Heath - as much for the pride of her parents as for herself - but will she fit in?
The plight of a nineteenth century schoolteacher, trapped by her duty to her job, is mirrored by a modern day woman's fight to escape the shackles of a broken marriage. Bess Hardemon, a tough and canny young teacher is determined to make a difference at her new school. At the cost of her own chance of finding love, Bess remains trapped by her duty, a confinement echoed a century later by Sarah, who must make her own choice between duty and her efforts to save a broken marriage.
The compelling story of two generations of a family - and the secrets they keep - from the bestselling author of THE ROSE OF SEBASTOPOL
Beside the River Needle is a willow, meeting place for generations of Needlewick girls. Suzanna is the elder daughter of the village doctor who, with her friends, plans various outings, memorably to the Tunnel Woods where Suzanna has a momentous encounter. Helen is Suzanna's niece. She lacks companions of her own age, but makes up for it with the imaginative world she creates for herself. In the summer of 1909, Suzanna's daughter, Sophia, is sent from London to stay with her cousin and soon Sophia and Helen are inseparable.
Years later, after the War, Sophia is engaged to be married. Over the years she has lost a great deal - but not her ambition for a rich and secure future. Then one morning she learns of a strange legacy. To receive her bequest, she must return to Needlewick. There she seeks out the people and hidden places of her childhood - and following her there are others for whom Needlewick is a place of devastating significance.
A WAY THROUGH THE WOODS is a tale of a quest. It is also the story of a family: mothers, sisters, cousins, friends and servants - their passions, and their ability to destroy and heal, waste and love.
The secrets and tragedies of a family's past, and the far-reaching effects on succeeding generations of women...
The women in Helena Mayrick's family have always led secretive and tragic lives, and when Helena's comfortable marriage is devastated by her husband's violent death, it seems that she, too, is locked into the cycle.
Helena is invited to research a book on her grandfather, H. Donaldson, the celebrated Edwardian photographer. At first she is reluctant to immerse herself in family history, particularly as Donaldson's relationship with her grandmother, Ruth, is shrouded in mystery and turmoil.
But gradually, as the story of enigmatic Ruth and the elusive, passionate Donaldson unfolds, Helena finds that the past, like the present, was shaped by cruel dilemmas and the demands of love...