This is a great, gripping mystery story I loved reading it for two main reasons it is set in an English town I love for its beauty and history, and it conveys with vivid realism the stories of two extraordinary ordinary women.The supernatural element, a constant travelling through time, is the device Pamela Hartshorne chooses to connect the two story lines The narration quickly shifts from Elizabethan York and Nell s hard, tragic life enlightened only by her passionate love for Tom, to present day York, where Tess struggles to overcome the wreckage of her marriage and to protect her son and herself from the rage of Martin, the man she is hiding from, her husband.The rich descriptive pattern and the care for the details let the readers live in their minds the changes of landscape Tess herself experiences, comparing and contrasting the charms of present and past York Tess finds herself distressed and displaced, when she realizes that what is happening to her is not simply dreaming another person s life, Nell s life in the 16th century.In York, her shelter while trying to escape from her abusing husband, Tess finds the reassuring presence of Luke, a man she deeply loved in the past, and the disquieting reality of frightening, mysterious sounds coming from walls of the old house she moves in Haunting and demanding, Nell enters Tess s life that way and won t leave it before she gets what she wants.The Shambles York, EnglandThe two women, despite their differences and the barrier of hundreds of years between them, share a tragic destiny both married to abusive husbands Nell was forced to marry sadistic Ralph Maskewe and to forget her dream of marrying his younger brother, Tom, instead Tess was deceived into an un happy marriage by charming, handsome, but pathologically narcissistic, Martin The violence Nell experiences is physical and brutal, in Tess s case, it is subtle and psychological However, in both cases, the two women are alone and prisoners of their fears as well as of their husbands powerful and unsimpathetic grip The worst is that nobody seems to actually see or understands what really happens to them.Incredibly enough, Tess and Nell, prisoners of the past, bound by love and fear, will help each other Nell needs Tess to reveal the world what happened to her and to be finally re united with her daughter, somehow Tess will grow up and find the strength to choose what is right for her and her son Oskar, she will decide to stand up and to react to Martin, and all that thanks to Nell.It s an intense story which takes the reader on a thrilling, dramatic journey, blending romance and brutal domestic violence, supernatural and accurate historical fiction, psychological insight and action see my post about this book at FLY HIGH Gripping That s the perfect word to describe this book.I picked it up looking for some light romance and got a unique and thrilling mystery instead This is the story of 2 women centuries apart who struggle with abusive husbands and try, each in their own way to find safety for themselves and their children Nell from the 16th century has to find joy in the small things of life while at the beck and call of a sadistic husband who gets his pleasure only from the pain of others And Tess in our times, has to gather her courage and mend her broken spirit, as well as that of her child, after enduring years of psychological abuse at the hand of her over possessive and a bit pshyco if you ask me husband Their stories are wonderfully intertwined through regression and we get to see both women s lives in a totally unique way The author takes you flawlessly from the present to the past and back until you finally figure out what these 2 women have in common And it will leave you breathless in the end. I was so engrossed in this book I couldn t put it down until I had finished The morphing between time zones was very well done At first I sarcastically thought great this is just an adult Tom s Midnight Garden, but then they started changing at different times of day and it just got so much better and quite unique I would have given it 5 stars however two of the characters in particular almost ruined the book entirely The relationship between the main character and her mum was disgusting to the point it became unbelievable and I am struggling to work out why the character of Vanessa was in the book at all unless it was just to make the characters, and reader, miserable She deserves a good slap Overall loved the book I felt it was cleverly written and the storyline was one I will certainly not foret any time soon Recommend it to everyone D After reading and enjoying Times echo, i couldn t wait for the next one.I was not disappointed and infact found this even better than the first Nell and Tess were very compelling characters Luke and Tom equally as loveable and enthralling and the rogues Martin and Ralph scared me This novel seemed atmospheric and scarier than the last and cannot wait for the next novel a memory of Midnight kept me reading through the night and had echoes of a good Barbara Erskine novel My only disappointment was i didn t want the story to end. One Hot Day In Elizabethan York, Young Nell Appleby Is Trapped In A Wooden Chest, And A Horror Of The Stifling Dark And Of The Man Who Trapped Her Dogs Her For The Rest Of Her Life Wed To The Sadistic Ralph Maskewe, Nell Must Find Joy Where She Can, Until The Return Of Her Childhood Sweetheart Offers A Chance Of Flight To The New World Will Nell Risk All To Escape The Dark At Last Four And A Half Centuries Later, Tess And Her Small Son Oscar Move To York Eager To Start A New Life, Away From Her Overbearing And Manipulative Husband, Martin, Tess Tries To Put Her Marriage Behind Her But Time In York Has A Way Of Shifting Strangely, And Memories Of A Past That Is Not Her Own Begin To Surface With Disturbing Effect Living Two Lives, Torn Between Two Worlds, Tess Must Unlock The Secrets Of The Past Before She Can Free Herself And Nell Once And For All Quick, easy read The chapter divisions seemed a bit random to me, and Martin s character at the end was a bitwell, the whole way through we kept hearing he had shady contacts, but it was never explained why or how dnf I love books like this that transport you back in the past and also the present I was so involved with the characters and the story that I couldn t read and turn the pages quick enough I will definitely be looking out for other books by Pamela Hartshorne. I stopped reading this just over half way through I really didn t care about any of it The characters were boring and one dimensional, the story which should have been interesting managed to be flat and dull, and for me, it was written too much like a clich d piece of chick lit to have any sort of credibility It s not even quick and easy to read as it flits between characters but the author deliberately blurs the line between them so you re not sure which one you re reading about Which is great if you re a good writer and can it work well as a literary technique But not if you re lacking in talent and ability Ouch, sorry On a personal note, I really hated the newly single mum escaping an abusive husband part The character was so weak, weedy and self pitying There was no fight in her and no courage Instead of inspiring me to go out there and be a strong, independent woman, it made me want to burrow my head in the covers, despairing that such a dreadful book got published And on top of that has had so many good ratings WHY I know people react to difficult situations differently, but this woman was not someone I wanted to read about And the way she desperately latched onto the closest man in proximity which happened to be her ex and her first love was just far too formulaic She was truly terrible character.And don t even get me started on the other one For me, if I m dreading going to bed and reading my current book, then I m definitely reading the wrong one Which is a shame as I really wanted to like this. There was nothing objectively wrong with this book, but it annoyed me in several ways First off, I didn t really see the connection between Nell s life and Tess , apart from the fact that they both had terrible husbands So why was Nell connected to Tess What was going on exactlyThose questions weren t answered, which would probably have been okay if I d gotten sucked into Hartshorne s universe to the point where I didn t mind a bit of unexplained mystery, but that never really happened either The main characters simply struggled a lot Nell especially just went through a lot of horrible things, over and over again And Ralph was a bit too evil In a one dimensional way Martin felt realer in that regard he was abusive and controlling, but he wasn t a cardboard villain And here s where the really subjective part of my review comes in I know Nell supposedly served as a warning to Tess, but I couldn t help but feel spoiler like her life ended horribly to prop Tess happy ending, and that didn t really sit right with me Or maybe it s just that ultimately, I was invested in Nell than in Tess. The epilogue made me somewhat less skeptical towards the ending, but I shouldn t need a historical note to make me feel less bitter about a book.
After a haphazard early career spent working and travelling around the world, I started writing romance in order to fund a PhD in Medieval Studies Naturally, that didn t turn out to be quite the easy option I thought it would be, but I did in the end complete a thesis on the street and the perception of public space in later medieval and early modern York in 2004 My research formed the basis of
- 470 pages
- The Memory of Midnight
- Pamela Hartshorne
- 13 January 2017 Pamela Hartshorne