Judging a book by it's cover...

Do you? Do you judge a book by its cover? I did, which led me to going to

heffers 4 .jpg
heffers 1 .jpg

I was interested in the covers, especially for The Wicked Cometh, and historical fiction still isn't my go to genre, but having read a few recently and the interest in the covers, a chance to meet the authors I decided to go and see if I could be then swayed to purchase a book. 

The authors Laura Carlin, Beth Underdown, and Imogen Hermes Gowar made an interesting panel. 

They read a short passage from their books, after explaining the premise of the stories, without giving spoilers. 

Then discussed how researching the times, and how books or the times were made by men, for men. How little literature there was from women. Although they kept diaries, notes, and household accounts. Many of these now discarded as uninteresting, but it showed they were there telling their stories, passing down information to families, or left to others working in stately homes, how their knowledge was not acknowledged on a wider scale, but full of importance. 

What peaked my interest is that all the books had a common theme, not only are they historical all the books are based on events that happened, and whether this was found by chance or within research this is where the authors told their stories from. 

They wanted their story to have a strong female character, and in doing so there is also strong male characters in at least two of the books. It was insightful to hear how much research was undertaken, then discarded as it was not a history lesson we were being given, but tales of the time to combine factual information with fiction. 

 

  THE WICKED COMETH       Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place  and the city's vulnerable poor are disappearing from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.  When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock.  But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking. . .  A compelling page-turner from a gifted new voice in historical fiction,  The Wicked Cometh  is the perfect read for fans of  The Witchfinder's Sister ,  Fingersmith  and  The Essex Serpent .     THE WITCH FINDER'S SISTER  When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.  But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names.   To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him?   And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?       THE MERMAID AND MRS HANCOCK    THIS VOYAGE IS SPECIAL. IT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.   One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.  As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on… and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost.  Where will their ambitions lead? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?  In this spell-binding story of curiosity and obsession, Imogen Hermes Gowar has created an unforgettable jewel of a novel, filled to the brim with intelligence, heart and wit.   

THE WICKED COMETH
 

Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and the city's vulnerable poor are disappearing from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.

When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock.

But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking. . .

A compelling page-turner from a gifted new voice in historical fiction, The Wicked Cometh is the perfect read for fans of The Witchfinder's Sister, Fingersmith and The Essex Serpent.

 

THE WITCH FINDER'S SISTER

When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names.

To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

 

THE MERMAID AND MRS HANCOCK

THIS VOYAGE IS SPECIAL. IT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.

One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.

As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on… and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost.

Where will their ambitions lead? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?

In this spell-binding story of curiosity and obsession, Imogen Hermes Gowar has created an unforgettable jewel of a novel, filled to the brim with intelligence, heart and wit.

 

Please note that The Witch Finder's Sister has been out longer so is available in paperback, and the kindle edition is cheaper than the other two, however if you are a kindle reader, i suggest adding to your watch list and waiting for the paperback to come out to see the price drop if you wish to wait, or grab a copy from your local library. 

Each book did peak my interest, each author gave a sterling performance on their own interest and why they wrote the book they did. 

However I had set myself a challenge and limited myself to one book purchase, and with the outlook of buying the others on kindle at a later date. 

So what did I choose? 

 

I actually chose

The Witch Finder's Sister, out of them all it was the story that I wanted to investigate more, first. 

However - I wasn't keen on the cover, I felt it was too modern...so stood at the table debating as to what to do. 

Then on a stand in front of the paperbacks I noticed this....

heffers 6 .jpg

It was the only one there, and I was one of the last to purchase a book...were the witches calling to me? yes, I could have got the same story cheaper on kindle, or in paperback, but the reason I was at the event was to be swayed by book cover, then story or story to sway me away from the book cover. 

I went to get the book signed, and Beth had already signed it on a previous visit. So she kindly personalised it for me. Nearly a year to the day since her last visit to Heffers. 

This really was a mysterious evening, and I am so thrilled that a book cover I had seen online had called me in, even though I didn't purchase that book on the evening it will be added to my To Be Read Pile, and it is always interesting listening to author's and finding out where there inspiration comes from. 

 

I have started the book, and it is written in English that is set in it's time, but easy to read and follow. It is from the point of view of The Witch Finders Sister and is set up beautifully and slightly haunting. I am looking forward to taking my time and then reviewing the book. 

 

So did I judge the book by it's cover? I did, but not in the way I thought.