Back of the book :
Betty is running for her life . . .
Young Betty dreams of settling down to an ordinary life with her husband. But when he returns broken and haunted from the Great War, she finds herself persecuted by his distraught mother – and yearns to escape.
It is only when a storm devastates the village that Betty sees her chance. Fleeing to Bristol and changing her name to Mabel Brook, she seeks a new life – only to discover destiny has other plans.
Penniless and alone, Mabel suffers a brutal attack before being rescued by a psychic named Nora Nightingale. She gets her first taste of those who receive messages from the dead and realizes she may have this power herself.
But Mabel fears her gift may be a terrible curse as it becomes ever harder to hide from the truth about who she once was – and the tragic life she left behind.
Soon Mabel receives her own message and is forced back to the very place she has escaped. A place of heartbreak and perhaps even murder – but to secure her future Mabel must confront her past one last time.
What I think :
Betty lives in a small fishing town in Devon. She’s 22 and married to Martin. They lead a very simple life. Martin went out on the fishing boat with Betty’s father to make a living and Betty kept house and helped out if needed on the boat too. Then her father died in a freak accident, he was swept overboard in a storm, they didn’t find his body till three weeks later. Martin went off to enlist and when he came back from the war he wasn’t the same, in either mind or body. So now Betty’s life is awful, she’s left with a husband that doesn’t even know she’s there and a mother-in-law that really hates her, she resents her for taking her son away from her.
So one day when a really bad storm visits the village Betty knows this is her only chance to get away and change her life. She lets people think that she was swept away by the sea whilst trying to save her belonging’s from her and Martins beach side cottage.
Betty becomes Mabel Brook, war widow. She runs to Bristol, but when she gets there things go really wrong and something really bad happens to her. Luckily she’s saved by Nora a medium. Could Betty/Mabel have the gift too ?
Sooner or later Betty/Mabel realizes that she has to return to her previous life. Is is able to go back ?
You always know your on to a winner when you’ve got a Lesley Pearse book in our hands. I have read all of her books and really enjoyed them. Lesley always writes about life, good and bad. Her characters are really well-formed and relatable. With her books being nearly always set in the past you can get a sense of what things were like then. Beautifully researched and wonderfully descriptive it makes you feel as if you’re there in the thick of things.
This is a easy read, that keeps you absorbed until the last page. Sometimes awfully sad but in others really uplifting. I loved it and look forward to the next one !
I give brilliant novel 10/10 ! (5 Stars)
Published by Penguin, Micheal Joseph on 27/06/19.
A big thanks to Ellen Casey at Penguin for the review copy of the book in return for a honest review.