Hello, sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this gorgeous book with you all; The Girl With The Amber Comb by Linda Finlay. This post was scheduled to be shared in March, but as we all know one thing leads to another and we fall behind, way behind in this case…..Oops! So, here it is ridiculously late, sorry! But, I hope you all enjoy it anyway.
The Girl With The Amber Comb by Linda Finlay
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: HQ Stories
‘Sure to delight’ Dilly Court
A heart-warming tale from the Queen of West Country Saga, LINDA FINLAY.
Orphaned at birth, Eliza lives with her beloved Grandparents in a waterlogged Somerset cottage surrounded by willow beds where she ekes out a living making laundry baskets and eel traps. Although poor she is content, until childhood friend Clem, regales her with tales of his adventures along the river and she begins to wonder what life is like beyond the Droves.
When fate brings handsome, wealthy Theo to her workshop she is instantly attracted and a rosy future beyond the Droves beckons. Only things don’t go to plan and naive Eliza finds herself in Lavender House where she is expected to care for gentlemen in a way she never imagined. Forced to flee for her life, she ends up in a woollen mill run by a corrupt foreman, working for crumbs and pennies with only her grandmother’s comb in her pocket.
Now she knows what matters in life – but is it too late? And will she ever be able to return home to those who love her?
Set amongst the stunning wetlands of Somerset, this tale of triumph and tragedy will delight fans of Rosie Goodwin and Dilly Court.
This is a cracker of a story!! If you love your nitty-gritty; Dickensian-esque saga’s, then this is the book you have to read. I hadn’t read any of Linda Finlay’s books before this, honestly, I must walk around with my eyes shut while living in a bubble. How Linda’s books have passed me by, who knows, but I will certainly be seeking out more of her work.
Set in Victorian Somerset the story opens to young Eliza taking on the bulk of the families basket making business after the death of her greatly loved grandmother (or grammer) At seventeen she wants more in her life than to make laundry and eel baskets all day while caring for her grandfather (gramfer) She cares deeply for her gramfer and she loved her grammer so to lose her and to see how her gramfer struggles really break her heart.
When handsome Theo arrives at her little workshop she falls in love with him, he is the very embodiment of every girl’s dream; handsome, charming, wealthy. But as you might expect, all won’t be roses and happiness where he is concerned. One thing leads to another and Eliza first finds herself in the questionable Lavender House where she ends up fleeing to save her life and then she ends up in a wool mill with nothing to her name but the clothes on her back and her most prized possession; her grandmother amber comb.
Anyone who has read a review of mine, or follows me on social media will know how much I love historical’s where the leading character is from a working-class background, honestly, it is such a breath of fresh air to read a book set in the Victorian era where the whole focus isn’t on the aristocracy or the well-to-do families of the time. The leading lady is a very down-to-earth, liable and relatable young woman who has stars in her eyes and big dreams and wishes in her mind. But she is also a very loyal, caring and a genuinely lovely person wants to do the right thing as much as she wants an adventure.
There isn’t a single word I can say against this book, I loved the characters; whether good or bad each one brought something to the story, there is a realism that instantly grabs you and transports you to the era, the historical detail is so brilliantly researched yo the plot is engaging, I swear you will age ten years while reading it as you follow Eliza on her and at times unsavoury journey from her being a naïve little country miss from Somerset to a world-weary woman aged beyond her years. You will laugh and cry in equal measure, your heart will weep for Eliza at times and then burst with joy in other moments, but this is what you want from a historical fiction; you want to be bombarded with every human emotion as you read this young woman sorry tale.
It is without a doubt that The Girl with the Amber Comb is an engaging, captivating, authentic, richly detailed and beautifully written book. I would say one thing though – nothing bad, I promise – only I wouldn’t say it was a women’s fiction saga, I would say it’s more for those who are first starting to explore historical fiction, for those who are just dipping their toes into the historical fiction/saga waters and find that they love the genre, maybe even a young adult. It’s an easy to read book, one that you can dive into and instantly becoming carried away and one that you can easily devour in a weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
About the Author
Linda Finlay was brought up in Surrey and as a child loved creating stories. She won a competition run by the Leatherhead Advertiser then foolishly declined their offer of a job as a trainee reporter (oh, the ignorance of youth!) Married with two children, making up stories was a highlight of their upbringing.
Trained as an Image Consultant, she has an avid interest in people especially the synergy between appearance and perception, especially the effect this has on self-esteem. A move to the spectacular Devonshire coast combined with her passion for local history inspired her to write her Victorian sagas while her training enables her to create the vivid, colourful characters she so enjoys writing about. She is a shameless eavesdropper – so beware your conversations might not be as private as you think!
Linda has just begun her tenth novel set against the rich West Country background and incorporating a traditional local craft.
I just want to make a brief apology to Linda and the team over at HQ Stories – for not posting this review on my day of this amazing blog tour. I think many will agree with me when I say the last few weeks/months have been a bit on the weird side and I’m afraid I have let things slide a little and now I am drastically playing catch up.
So, for all those who missed out on the blog tour, why not check out each of these amazing blogs which participated in this tour and show them some love?