Book Review: “Hold on to Hope”

Author : Jean Fullerton

Publisher : Orion Books

I had the inestimable pleasure of meeting Jean Fullerton and attending one of her masterclasses on writing at a writers’ weekend earlier this year, so when the opportunity came to read and review one of her books, I couldn’t resist.

Set in 1850s London around the Docks, the book tells the story of Kate and her two young children.  Kate runs an East End Chop House for local workers to eat in, and one day Captain Jonathon Quinn, an army man who has just quit his commission, calls in.  There is an instant attraction, but the path to true love is fraught with danger, interference from others, including Kate’s errant husband, Freddie, who turns up unannounced.  And what a nasty piece of work he is, too.

For a historical romance this is one of the best reads I’ve come across in a long time.  There are overlapping plots that weave through the action of the book and make it unput-downable, whereas your general run-of-the-mill hist-roms, I find, are mostly one-dimensional.

I liked the atmosphere of old London and immediately identified with it; as I was reading I could almost smell the Thames.

Unlike the Daily Express reviewer, who thinks the story has ‘larger-than-life characters’, I found that the characters came across as real.  They are very well drawn, even if some of them have values and beliefs that are very different from my own, and are driven by impulses such as revenge and avarice – something most of us would step back from, but nevertheless they are human reactions that we can all understand and identify with.

Does Kate get her man in the end?  Read the book and find out for yourself, but the baddies do get their comeuppance!  An excellent read.

–       Angela Wren

Actor and Director with Doncaster Little Theatre, and gradually working my way up to the title of Bookworm!  I have appeared on ‘Book It!’ both as a reviewer and a writer.

4 Responses to “Book Review: “Hold on to Hope””

  1. sjn25 15/08/2012 at 01:17 #

    Angela, many thanks for this, the ‘Book It!’ blog’s first book review! More to come from Angela and, I hope, other members of our panel of regular reviewers.

  2. Stephanie Cage 15/08/2012 at 21:24 #

    I must read a lot of non-run-of-the-mill rom-coms then. I feel some reviews coming on…

    • sjn25 15/08/2012 at 21:42 #

      @Stephanie, yes please to the reviews! Or the opinion piece. Or both? ; )

  3. Stephanie Cage 15/08/2012 at 21:25 #

    For rom-coms, read hist-roms. All these genre abbreviations confuse me! (Is that an opinion piece coming on?!)

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