One evening in May 1903 Martha Collett goes down the steps in Wapping into the river. The former servant girl has left the workhouse determined to leave the disappointments of her life behind. This is the start to this historical book by Evie Woolmore.
The historical element centres on the spiritual acts that were popular in the early twentieth century. Martha and her sister, Epiphany initially hone their act in the North before deciding that the time is right to return to London and reclaim the child that Martha left behind. By chance Martha and Epiphany, now in the guise of Mrs Hearn and Miss Fortune, are invited to hold a séance in the very house where Martha used to work, the home of Rafe Lyward. The very Rafe Lyward who is the father of the baby they returned to London to reclaim.
Adelia the lady of the house is an unhappy woman, her brother died in Africa and along with her sister-in-law Flora she longs to know the truth of what happened to him. The question is will Miss Fortune be able to summon his spirit to put the living at peace?
I am not really a believer in the supernatural so I had some reservations about this book which were quickly dispelled. Martha is a believable character a woman who has had to make difficult decisions just as many women did at this time. Poor Adelia does not fit into Edwardian England having an enquiring this intelligent woman is trapped by society’s expectations. As such this is a fascinating study of women at the opposite ends of society at the turn of the twentieth century. This is a well-plotted story which offered so much more than I expected.
I received a free copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.
To read more about this book and others by Evie Woolmore (all currently available for kindle at the bargain price of 99p) visit Allonymbooks.com
- Magical Realism, Visionary, Paranormal…? EM Havens and Evie Woolmore in conversation (allonymbooks.com)
- Terrific review of Evie Woolmore’s The Salt Factory at Read Dream Relax (allonymbooks.com)
- allonymbooks: quality, independent publishing of excellent fiction (allonymbooks.com)