When Rona and Craig buy a large Victorian house up from Edinburgh’s Newhaven district – once teeming with fishing boats – they plan to renovate and set it up as a luxury care home. But something is not quite right: disturbing sounds can be heard when the sea mists swirl; their unpredictable neighbour makes it clear that the house was not always a happy family home. And their ‘characterful’ historic pile has a gloomy cellar harbouring relics from days gone by.
Back in the 1890s, superstitious fishwives blame young Jessie for the deaths of their menfolk in a terrible storm, and she’s forced into the Newhaven Poorhouse. In those less enlightened times, life was often severe, cruel even, and Jessie is entirely at the mercy of a tyrant matron. But one inmate is not all she seems. Jessie begins to pick at the truth, uncovering the secrets and lies that pervade the poorhouse – and which will have profound and dangerous consequences in the future.
This is tells the story of 2 different women from 2 different times. One is Jessie who has been sent to a poorhouse in the 1800’s and the second is Rona from the 1980’s who has just bought a large 12 bedroom home with her husband Craig to turn into an old peoples home. Each chapter tells a portion of each woman’s story and as the story goes on we learn what is connecting these two women from two very different walk of life.
I enjoyed this story a lot more than I was expecting to. As I read I wanted to see what happened to these two women and how they were going to be connected at the end. I found that as the story progressed I was getting drawn deeper and deeper in as secrets and characters true natures were revealed and the connections became clearer. Reading about Jessie in the poorhouse I found I enjoyed more as I found that side of the story interested me slightly more than Ronas. I did enjoy both sides but I found that side of life interested me more. The majority of the secrets and revelations were found during Jessies time and it’s what happened there that affects everything else.
If you like a historical fiction with secrets and intrigue then you will enjoy reading all about Jessie, Rona and what connects them. Thank you Kelly for the invite onto this tour and also to Sue and Contraband books for my copy.
About The Author
As well as writing three very popular and well-reviewed historical mysteries published in the UK and overseas, Sue Lawrence is one of the UK’s leading cookery writers, with eighteen published cookbooks. Having trained as a journalist in Dundee, she won BBC’s MasterChef in 1991 and became a food writer, regularly contributing to Scotland on Sunday, as well as being the Sunday Times’ food writer for six years. Born in Dundee and raised in Edinburgh, she now lives near Newhaven, Edinburgh – the setting for her latest novel. She has won two Guild of Food Writers Awards and a Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award, and now focuses on researching and writing historical fiction.