Published: July 9th, 2020
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Today is my stop on the blog tour for this captivating novel. Thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part and Orion for tbr gifted copy.
A moving and gripping story about three women who keep unspeakable truths, from the Richard & Judy recommended bestselling author Julie Cohen.
‘Haunting, tender and true – this story cast a spell on me’ Kirsty Logan
Viola has an impossible talent. Searching for meaning in her grief, she uses her photography to feel closer to her late father, taking solace from the skills he taught her – and to keep her distance from her husband. But her pictures seem to capture things invisible to the eye . . .
Henriette is a celebrated spirit medium, carrying nothing but her secrets with her as she travels the country. When she meets Viola, a powerful connection is sparked between them – but Victorian society is no place for reckless women.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, invisible threads join Viola and Henriette to another woman who lives in secrecy, hiding her dangerous act of rebellion in plain sight.
Faith. Courage. Love. What will they risk for freedom?
Driven by passionate, courageous female characters, SPIRITED is your next unforgettable read!
“All stories are true or none. I find more beauty if they are all true.”
Viola and her new husband Jonah have moved to the south coast to begin their married life together. But instead of the closeness they once shared growing up, they seem to be growing further apart with each day. Henriette, a celebrated medium, arrives in town and is immediately drawn to Viola. With her encouragement, Viola starts to take photographs again and discovers an astonishing talent that sends shockwaves through society. Meanwhile, Jonah is grappling with a secret trauma from his time in India that he feels unable to share with his new wife.
The author explores themes of love, gender, sexuality, faith, prejudice and freedom in the victorian era in this wonderfully written story. Captivating, evocative, haunting and tender, I savoured every word. The extracts from books, newspapers and webpages gave the story an authentic feel and I found myself googling the characters to be sure I was reading fiction. This was my first time reading this author and I now understand why people rave about her books and can’t wait to read more of her work.
The characters are compelling, memorable and richly drawn and the author has created strong, fascinating female characters that go against the cultural norms of their societies to live the life they want for themselves, rather than the one they are told they should have. I liked Viola but it was Henriette, the fiesty, wiley and charming medium, who I loved most of all. Despite her duplicity, there is a sincerity to her that we slowly saw more of as the story went on, particularly around Viola, and it was this, along with her backstory, that endeared her to me.
Atmospheric, immersive and moving, Spirited is an imaginative piece of historical fiction that I highly recommend.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Julie Cohen grew up in the western mountains of Maine and studied English at Brown University and Cambridge University before pursuing a research degree in nineteenth century fairies. After a career as a secondary school English teacher, she became a novelist. Her award-winning novels have sold over a million copies worldwide. Dear Thing and Together were both selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. Julie runs an oversubscribed literary consultancy which has helped many writers go on to be published. She is Vice President of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, founder of the RNA Rainbow Chapter for LGBTQ+ authors, and a Patron of literary charity ABC To Read
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