Since there hasn’t been a RARM when at least one of Team W (and often all of them) have participated, I feel honor-bound to say publicly at least one more time how much I love these writers, both individually and as a team.
And since it’s Thursday, and they all write books with historical settings, let’s just call it #TBTTeamW (White, Williams & Willig)
Willig first hit the publishing world with her ever-popular Pink Carnation series, which featured a network of female spies doing the good work to bring down Napoleon. Interspersed in the stories of derring do in the Regency is a modern day romance arc between researcher Eloise and spy descendant Colin. These books are such fun reads plus they spotlight obscure snippets of history really add texture and intrigue to the plot lines.
Willig tied up the series a few years ago (I wrote about it for NPR – here – if you’re interested), just as her star was really rising with standalone titles, especially dual timeline storytelling, which she probably helped popularize.
I’ve loved all of Willig’s books, and in them she’s explored a variety of historical eras. She specializes in historical homes that house long-buried secrets and there hasn’t been one title I finished without a satisfied sigh and that singular pang you get when you’ve just come to the end of a wonderful book and know you’ll never be able to read it for the first time again.
If you haven’t read her yet, you really, really want to. Go discover her. Right now.
I can’t recommend any one over all the others, but I will say that possibly her most intricate, complex and ambitious book was last year’s THE SUMMER COUNTRY.
I can’t wait (!) for next year’s BAND OF SISTERS. Really though? Read them all.
(P.S. I just discovered a new title, TWO L ($2.99 @Amazon), a self-published novel: In this tongue-in-cheek satire, Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” is transposed to the campus of Harvard Law. I picked it up, because it’s a Lauren Willig I haven’t read yet…. Apparently we have to wait until March for BAND OF SISTERS
Find the books:
Lauren Willig @Amazon
Band Of Sisters @Amazon
Summer Country @Amazon – https://amzn.to/36heQcq
Pink Carnation full series @Amazon
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (Book 1 only $2.99) @Amazon
THE SUMMER COUNTRY
A brilliant, multigenerational saga in the tradition of The Thorn Birds and North and South, New York Times bestselling historical novelist Lauren Willig delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet—a sweeping Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.
Barbados, 1854: Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous English merchant clan– merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day. But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados—a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned.
When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts.
Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins? Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills? The answer lies in the past— a tangled history of lies, greed, clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.
THE SUMMER COUNTRY will beguile readers with its rendering of families, heartbreak, and the endurance of hope against all odds.
(This review is part of Read-A-Romance Month. Hope you’ll come back every day to check out my book recommendations. You can find the calendar here. Also check out The Romance of Reading, a Facebook “book club” where we’ll have great authors guest hosting every week.)
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