Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; The Lark Ascending by Sally Zigmond. I am very excited to be sharing my review of the gorgeous book, so settle in grab a cuppa and enjoy!
The Lark Ascending by Sally Zigmond
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: The Conrad Press (18 Dec. 2019)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 304 pages
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
The war is over but young Alice Fields, who hates her job in an old-fashioned shop, isn’t celebrating. However, her life is about to change when a rich customer leaves behind an expensive fur stole and Alice makes great efforts to return it.
Dark secrets bring not only money but misery, too.
During the contrasting worlds of the roaring twenties and the General Strike, love and deep friendships bloom like poppies on the devastated battlefields over which the lark rises again.
The moment I was offered a place on this blog tour, I jumped at the chance there was something about this book that drew me to it just from the blurb and made me want to read it and I am so pleased that I got the chance to, this is a beautifully poignant and atmospheric book which is full of difficult and painful storylines, heart-break and raw realism which instantly grabbed my attention from the onset. I am a huge fan of this era, pre and post-WW1 are my Achilles heal in historical fiction, especially when it is set in my home county plus features miners and the working class. Yes, I may be a wee biased, as I do come from mining stock but that only compelled me even more to read this book, but in all honestly despite my own preferences, this is easily one of the best I have read from this era in a long time.
The story opens in 1919, when shop worker; Alice is tired of the depressing job she has found herself in, she dreams of more, but in the world, as it is, her dream of being better than she has, may just be that; a dream. When into the shop walks a mysterious and filthy rich lady, after leaving behind an expensive item of clothing, Alice being honest to a fault goes and returns the item to its rightful owner, whether that owner deserves it back or not. A simple kind act that changes Alice for life, and sets a course that can never be changed.
The story covers seven years from 1919 and then goes through the ’20s, to coincide with the miner’s strike of 1926, and we see the treatment of conscientious objectors how now the war is over how the men returning from the from are suffering. Through these years Alice has been married, divorced, outcast and learning to live again, there are lies, mysteries, and secrets that swirl around like a hazy fog which we readers must wade through to find the truth.
I love that the author has written the characters exactly how we speak, she hasn’t described their speech she has just written them ‘thee and thy-ing’ which I did love, that first chapter especially, it could have been myself or my grandmother speaking that dialogue with those strong Yorkshire accents.
The author really engages the reader, she grasps your attention with her illustrious and richly detailed writing, the story unfolds slowly which in any other book may have been a little too slow for me, as I do like faster-paced books, yet this one really drew me right into the story I was gripped as the whole plot unfolded, questions were answered and I was left sitting in the wonder of how brutally raw and yet strikingly beautiful this book is.
This was a complimentary copy via Random Things Tours, which I voluntarily reviewed as a part of this tour. Thank you, Anne.
About the Author
Sally Zigmond was born in Leicester in 1951 and has lived in Lincoln, Market Harborough and North London where she attended Queen Mary College, University of London. Having studied English Literature, she was a civilian Executive Officer in various departments in The Metropolitan Police (including the London bureau of Interpol).
When she married, she moved with her husband to Harrogate, North Yorkshire where they lived for over 30 years, bringing up two sons. With its stunning countryside and fascinating history, she was inspired to put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard) and write her first, articles and short stories, both commercial and literary. The impetus of being published and winning competitions and awards for her fiction, Sally wrote historical novels, set in Yorkshire. (Hope Against Hope and The Lark Ascending) and a novella, a fictional interpretation of the life of Henriette d’Angeville, a French aristocrat, who was the first woman to willingly climbed the summit of Mont Blanc in 1838.
After 10 years living in Rosedale Abbey in the middle of the North York Moors, she and her husband now live in Middlesbrough, the vibrant history of which has given her more ideas for future historical novels.
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