#BookReview - A Pearl for My Mistress by Annabel Fielding

A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downton Abbey.

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady's maid in a small aristocratic household.
Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.
Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital... and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society's most dangerous secrets...

The years leading up to the Second World War are one of my favourite periods to read about so I was delighted when Annabel Fielding contacted me to ask if I'd be interested in reviewing A Pearl for My Mistress. Many thanks to …

Book Review - Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbery



This is a difficult review to write, not because I didn't enjoy it, quite the opposite in fact, but it's a story that's teeming with secrets and I'm mindful to give nothing away.
The basic premise is that Anna's then teenage sister, Rose disappeared twenty years ago. No body was every found and the family have no idea whether she chose to leave or was taken and whether she is still alive. Twenty years of not knowing takes its toll on the family, Anna struggles to commit to her relationship with Martin, even forming a friendship with his ex-wife Ruth. Meanwhile her parents, Sandy and Don finally decide to sell their family home with all its memories but with so much unsaid between them can they go through with it?
The story cleverly switches between the present, the past before Rose's disappearance and even further back to when Sandy was a teenager. Gradually secrets are laid bare as the readers and the family learn of the decisions made by them and by others that eventually affected them all.
Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon is a compelling, often achingly sad novel. It's a well structured family drama with unexpected twists and believable, sympathetic characters. This is Linda Newbery's first adult novel, I very much hope to read further books from her in the future, in the mean time I recommend you read this one.
My thanks to the author and publishers for my copy received through NetGalley in return for my honest review.

Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon is published in the UK by Doubleday.

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