Autumn Reading Challenge – Book 3

Well it’s been a while since I posted a book review, mainly because I have been so busy reading! This book was one from my physical bookshelf and here is my review…

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The night before it all begins, Jude has the dream again…

Can dreams be passed down through families? As a child Jude suffered a recurrent nightmare: running through a dark forest, crying for her mother. Now her six-year-old niece, Summer, is having the same dream, and Jude is frightened for her.

A successful auctioneer, Jude is struggling to come to terms with the death of her husband. When she’s asked to value a collection of scientific instruments and manuscripts belonging to Anthony Wickham, a lonely 18th-century astronomer, she leaps at the chance to escape London for the untamed beauty of Norfolk, where she grew up.

As Jude untangles Wickham’s tragic story, she discovers threatening links to the present. What have Summer’s nightmares to do with Starbrough folly, the eerie crumbling tower in the woods from which Wickham and his adopted daughter Esther once viewed the night sky? With the help of Euan, a local naturalist, Jude searches for answers in the wild, haunting splendour of the Norfolk forests. Dare she leave behind the sadness in her own life and learn to love again?

As a fan of Kate Morton’s books I decided to give Rachel Hore a go as I had heard that they have very similar writing styles. It has been while since I’ve picked up a historical fiction novel so I was very excited to start this one. As with most historical fiction stories it takes a little while to set the scene and to gather momentum. One thing you can be guaranteed is a sudden twist filled with lots of mystery.

The scenery was described vividly and the author had clearly done a lot of research into astronomy and nature. Reading about astronomy in the 1700’s was very interesting and I loved how the historical part was told through diary entries. The story somehow fits into a neat and tidy puzzle with each character playing their part in the final conclusion.

There are so many loveable characters introduced in this book and you can feel their passion seeping through the pages. I took a particular shine to Esther and her story, she had the most courage and resilience of all the characters in the book.

Overall I give this 4* mainly because it took a while to get going. I know this is a standard with historical fiction but I felt this particular book took a little longer than others. However I did enjoy this book and will pick up another of Rachel Hore’s books in the future.

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