The House of Fortune.
Here is a story that is set in 1705 in Amsterdam. The main character in the story is Thea who is celebrating her eighteenth birthday at the star of the book. Thea lives with her father, Otto, her aunt Nella and an old nursemaid/servant called Cornelia. Thea never knew her mother because she died after giving birth to Thea. As Thea is now 18 she feels she is old enough to know more about her mother.
It turns out that Thea was born out of wedlock, which was very much frowned upon in those days, and she also knows that she is of mixed race. Both of these facts about Thea were unusual in Amsterdam during her lifetime and this meant that the family were not always accepted into society.
Thea had rather a lonely life and she did not have friends until she went to the theatre with her aunt and met a young actress who did become her friend. Through the theatre she also met Walter, who was a scenery painter. After meeting in secret Thea fell in love with this man who was several years older than her.
Around the time of Thea`s birthday, the family were about to experience more hardship when Otto lost his job. His employers got rid of him because they considered him too old to work properly, he was in his early forties. Nella was worried about the financial hardship that this would cause them all and she was worried that they would loose their lovely home.
So the family needed a way to get money fast. Nella had the idea that now Thea was of age, she could be married of to a rich man and save the family home. Nella took Thea to a very grand ball that she had been invited to, hoping that somebody there could be introduced to her niece as a potential husband. Nella did not know that Thea had already given herself to Walter and the pair were secretly planning to get married. They were going to keep the affair secret until Walter had finished his job at the theatre. Then they would marry and travel abroad, living on Walter`s earnings as an artist.
Well, this is what Thea thought was going to happen, but the author gives the reader the impression that Walter could just be leading Thea along. This is sort of confirmed when the actress find out about them and she tries to warn Thea off Walter. But Thea is having her first love affair and she would not listen to reason.
Then things began to get creepy when Thea received a parcel from an anonymous sender. The parcel contained a small doll that was made to look like Walter. Thea thought that he had made it for her as a surprise gift. When she showed it to him, he was appalled by the sight of it and he told her that he would never make anything that bad. A short time after that another package arrived for Thea from the same anonymous sender.
The House of Fortune was written by Jessie Burton who also wrote a book called The Miniaturist. The House of Fortune is the sequel to The Miniaturist.
No Land to Light On
Here is a very sad story of two young people who met while living in America. Sama and Hadi had both come from Syria but they had left that country for different reasons. Sama went to America in 2010 to get an education and a better life, at first she was lonely but she soon settled in. A few years later, Hadi had to flee his homeland fearing for his life, he was a refugee.
They met in 2015 when they soon fell in love. Just over a year later they had married and were expecting their first child. They were looking forward to giving their new family a lovely future in America, but then something awful happened. Hadi found out that his father had died. This meant that Hadi had to return to Syria to organise the funeral. There was more bad news to come when Hadi was on his way back to America and he found he was not allowed back into the country due to a travel ban from certain countries. This meant that he would now have to be apart from his wife and soon to be born child.
It Could Never Happen Here
At the start of this story a dead body has been found . The victim has drowned and the local police need to find out why this has happened to a well known and respected member of the community. Was the person murdered, or was it suicide or were they just the victim of a tragic accident?
This story takes place in what seems to be a respectable community where the residents all know each other (or they think they do). But are things always as straightforward as they seem? The main characters in the story are the pupils and parents who are involved with the local primary school. The pupils are putting on a musical which has come to the attention of a national media company who are scouting for new talent amongst school age children. Of course this makes the pushy parents involved in the musical even more ambitious for their offspring to be noticed and they all become more competitive than usual.
In addition to all this there is a scandal unfolding involving the children of the community and their use of technology. This book brings to light many of the problems that modern children are likely to encounter through new technology like mobile phones and the internet.
The Cornish Captive
This is the story of Madeleine Pelligrew who is a fictional character. The story is set in Cornwall in 1800 when Madeleine has just been released from a madhouse. She should never have been put in a madhouse in the first place because she was not mad, just unhappy because she had lost her baby, her home and the husband that she loved dearly.
After being released she decided to find out more about the people who had put her in the madhouse. While looking for evidence while working in the house that had once been hers, she managed to find out some very disturbing facts about her late husband. He had kept many secrets from her and he was not the man that she thought he had been.
While on this mission Madeleine meets somebody who could be the love of her life, but is she ready to love and trust again?
The Cornish Captive was written by Nicola Price. While researching this book I came across Nicola`s website which I found very useful and interesting because it tells the reader more about the background to Nicola`s books .
Her other books include
- Pengelly`s Daughter
- The Cornish Dressmaker
- The Captain`s Girl
- The Cornish Lady
- A Cornish Betrothal
Remember my Name
Remember my Name is the story of what happened when Cressida Howard overhears a phone conversation between her husband Laurence and a woman called Nina. Cressida suspects her husband is having another one of his affairs and sets out to find out more.
Cressida may have been given a posh name but she came from a humble background. She was bullied at school and by chance one day, a bully made a remark that was to change Cressida`s life forever. We are not told exactly what the bully said but whatever it was encouraged Cressida to work hard at her school so that she could be sent to a better school where the pupils were posher. It was through a friend at her new school that she met her future husband Laurence and his wealthy family. Cressida married young and her daughter was born soon after.
After marrying into a wealthy family , Cressida enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle and at the start of the story she has her own company, a nice home and a daughter she adores . But all is not well in her marriage because she has suspected her husband has had affairs in the past. After 18 years of this she has had enough and she wants to leave him. So she hires an investigator to find out what has been going on..
What she finds is that there is more to this than meets the eye. This story involves murder, poisoning, blackmail , cybercrime and some very dodgy deals that will affect everybody involved in the book and will have long lasting consequences on all their lives.
Remember my Name is written by Sam Blake who is a well known author. Her other books include
- Little Bones
- In Deep Water
- The Dark Room
- No Turning Back
- Keep Your Eyes On Me
Mothers and Daughters
This is a story about a family of three grown up women who all have very different personalities.
The mother is a lady named Naomi who is a relatively new widow in her early sixties. We get the impression that she was previously rather a downtrodden wife who often went along with what her husband wanted just to keep the peace. But there was another side to her character that we discover as the story goes on. After a short time of being a widow, Naomi finds an old friend of hers has moved into the house next door to where she lives. She has not seen this man for some time and when they meet up, they find that old feelings are rekindled.
Naomi has two grown up daughters , Martha and Willow who are both adults and living away from home. They have issues in their own lives , but everything is about to change when they find out about their mother`s new love interest.
More books by the Author
Mothers and Daughters was written by a well known author named Erica James who has written at least fifty other books including;
- Summer at the Lake
- Song of the Skylark
- The Dandelion Years
- Tell it to the Skies
- Coming Home to Island House
- The Hidden Cottage