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urutherford Avatar


This engrossing story is the third novel from Elisabeth Gifford that I've read, each one very different. She is now a writer I will seek out and expect to enjoy. I love the way she introduces her characters tentatively, gradually filling in their shades and depth. She never tells us what qualities they have but gradually discloses them and lets the reader form their own judgement.

This is an intriguing story set in several different locations and settings and periods, and from several different points of view. But it is not confusing and nor does the writer do this to show off her skills, it is simply the best way to tell the story. The only help I needed was to look at a couple of maps and I do wish the publishers had included these. The historical and occupational research involved is impressive but not in the least overwhelming as it merely illustrates the story and ensures we understand.

It's not presented as a 'whodunnit' type of historical mystery so don't be disappointed if you make a huge leap in understanding halfway through the story. I thoroughly enjoyed having the mystery gradually revealed, the characters beginning to understand and all the loose ends sorted out for the reader.

Elisabeth Gifford offers a mriad themes and topics in each of her novels and the publishers are wise enough not to spoil the surprise by listing them in the blurbs. So nor will I.