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The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

The House in Quill Court by Charlotte Betts * Blog Tour Review*

    I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for Charlotte Betts' latest Regency novel The House in Quill Court. 

    Set in 1813, it starts off in Kent where Venetia Lowell lives with her mother and young brother. Her father, an interior decorator, is often away from home but together, they dream of opening a shop where they would supply high quality furnishings and art, using some of Venetia's designs. When Jack Chamberlaine arrives with shocking news, Venetia finds her world turned upside down and the family have to move to London, to the House in Quill Court. From then on, their lives are tested as they have to decide if they are going to stand up for what they believe is right.

    The House in Quill Court fizzes with life and verve. Its Regency setting adds romance and colour to the story which is full of historical detail. We are shown different strata of London society and Charlotte Betts weaves together different storylines into a satisying whole. In Venetia, we have a brave and believable character and we understand her motivations and actions. The whole story is peopled with lovely little cameos who add to the richness of the plot, sometimes with humour. The story of Kitty the maid stands out as we see her being tested by life.

    The contrast between Venetia's early life in Kent and the dangerous world of Regency London could not be clearer. We are shown the rich and poor living side by side as if in two parallel worlds. I particularly liked the references to the soldiers returning from the Napoleonic War and, as the author makes clear in her Historical Note which accompanies the story, London was rife with criminal behaviour, unchecked by a centralised police force. All this is captured within the pages of the book. 

In short: Regency London sparkles with life in this well researched and enjoyable read.

                                                                  The Author 

Charlotte Betts began her working life as a fashion designer in London. A career followed in interior design, property management and lettings. Always a bookworm, Charlotte discovered her passion for writing after her three children and two step-children grew up.
Her debut novel, The Apothecary’s Daughter, won the YouWriteOn Book of the Year Award in 2010 and the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers, was shortlisted for the Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romance in 2011 and won the coveted Romantic Novelists' Association's Historical Romantic Novel RoNA award in 2013. Her second novel, The Painter’s Apprentice was also shortlisted for the Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romance in 2012 and the RoNA award in 2014. The Spice Merchant’s Wife won the Festival of Romance's Best Historical Read award in 2013.
Charlotte lives with her husband in a cottage in the woods on the Hampshire/Berkshire border.

                                                Follow the rest of the Blog Tour!

You can connect with Charlotte Betts at her website here or on Twitter here

Thanks to the publisher, Piatkus Books for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour.


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