Hello, Sunshines, thank you for stopping by. I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this brilliant blog tour for The Gossip’s Choice by Sara Read. I can’t wait to share this book and my review with you all, but first, thank you to Kelly at Love Books Group from my complimentary copy and for the invitation to join this tour. Now, on to the book, I hope you love as much as I do.
The Gossip’s Choice by Sara Read
Release: 6th May 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Wild Pressed Books
“Call The Midwife for the 17th Century”
Lucie Smith is a respected midwife who is married to Jacob, the town apothecary. They live happily together at the shop with the sign of the Three Doves. But sixteen-sixty-five proves a troublesome year for the couple.
Lucie is called to a birth at the local Manor House and Jacob objects to her involvement with their former opponents in the English Civil Wars. Their only-surviving son Simon flees plague-ridden London for his country hometown, only to argue with his father. Lucie also has to manage her husband’s fury at the news of their loyal housemaid’s unplanned pregnancy and its repercussions.
The year draws to a close with the first-ever accusation of malpractice against Lucie, which could see her lose her midwifery licence, or even face ex-communication.
I was intrigued and fascinated by the sound of this way back earlier in the year when I participated in the cover reveal, it intrigued me. I was fascinated by the sound of it, the cover alone sparked my interest right away as it is so striking, there is something about this era that really captures the imagination, it’s so dark and perilous and there are so many great stories that need to be told and so when I was so kindly invited to tag along for the blog tour, I said yes instantly and I am so pleased that I did.
There are many who have likened this to the hugely popular TV show; Call the Midwife and even though I did only watch the first series, I stopped because it wasn’t my cup of tea (goes off and hides) I can see why people would say that. Personally, this is far, far better and so much more enjoyable, plus a lot grittier. I thought that there was a much edgier and more dangerous feel to it, most likely because of the era and what was going on at the time, but I do love that darker shade to historicals.
Lucie has a real warmth about her, she is calming, caring and passionate about her work. She brings sturdiness and tenderness into these ladies lives in a moment when they need it most and I loved that quiet determination to help. Even when thing’s go badly for her, you are rooting her on, she is one of those character’s you just can’t help but like and get behind her. Though, I do think there is a certain over-trusting and naivety to her, which isn’t the best thing for a woman in her line of work to have especially in such turbulent times and with so much going off in her own family.
I love books that are informative as well as telling a great story, and this is exactly what happened here, for example; I didn’t realise that during the 1600s midwives were actually known as ‘A Gossip’ isn’t that fascinated? Not at all how we think of the term gossip now is it?
Sara Read is a very gifted author and has done a cracking job at transporting the reader to the 17th century, with her compelling, poignant and suspenseful story which is flawlessly interwoven with brilliantly researched historic fact, captivating detail of the era and the eye-opening realism.
Overall, a beautifully written, captivating, thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking novel, it’s stylish with a real classic feel. Wonderful plot, brilliantly drawn characters and a steady pace which will both entertain and hold your attention from start to finish, highly recommended!
About the Author
Dr Sara Read is a lecturer in English at Loughborough University. Her research is in the cultural representations of women, bodies and health in the early modern era.
She has published widely in this area with her first book Menstruation and the Female Body in Early Modern England being published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013.
She is a member of the organising committee of the Women’s Studies Group, 1558-1837 and recently co-edited a special collection produced to celebrate the group’s 30th anniversary.
She is also the co-editor of the popular Early Modern Medicine blog. With founding editor Dr Jennifer Evans, Sara wrote a book about health and disease in this era Maladies and Medicine: Exploring Health and Healing, 1540-1740 (Pen and Sword 2017).
Sara regularly writes for history magazines such as Discover Your Ancestors and History Today. In 2017 she published an article ‘My Ancestor was a Midwife’ tracing the history of the midwifery profession for Who Do You Think You Are? magazine in 2017. She has appeared on BBC Radio 3’s Freethinking programme and is often to be heard on BBC Radio Leicester and BBC Radio WM.