|Simon and Schuster|
Jaffa and I were delighted to be given the opportunity to be a guest reviewer on Lindsay's excellent blog
Do pop across and read what we thought about
In the winter of 1792, Pierre Renard, the eponymous silversmith, is found dead in London’s Berkeley Square. With his throat cut and his pocket watch stolen, his murder could have been the work of an opportunist pickpocket, but as the story progresses it becomes obvious that, whilst on the surface, Pierre Renard was a man of means and self importance, he had more than enough enemies who wished him dead. At the heart of the story is Mary, the silversmith’s wife, who is completely overshadowed by her erstwhile husband, and yet by necessity, must play a pivotal role in the evolution of events. It’s a time of great uncertainty, not just for Mary as she copes in the aftermath of her husband’s murder but also for the continuation of Mary’s silversmith business, when a woman alone and defenceless was seen as the ultimate weakness.
From the beginning, I was drawn into the dark and dismal world of Georgian London where the patrolling night watchmen sink their sorrow into the bottom of an ale cup and where the great and the good of the city divide their time between squandering their wealth and interfering in other people’s lives. The Silversmith’s Wife takes the reader on a journey into the complicated world of Georgian melodrama and into the hub of the silversmith trade in the very heart of Bond Street, a place where petty jealousies run rife, and where thwarted passions and long buried hostilities threaten to overshadow everything.
There is no doubt that the author has a real skill for storytelling and in The Silversmith’s Wife, she conveys an introspective story, which whilst keeping at its heart the mystery surrounding Renard’s untimely death, also looks at the minutiae of daily life and the sadness which pervades Mary’s role as the unhappy wife. Reminiscent at times of Michel Faber’s, The Crimson Petal and the White, this story oozes quiet elegance and a decadent charm, which lingers in the way the story, evolves at its own pace. I found much to enjoy in the story, the plot kept me guessing, and I was so sympathetically drawn to Mary’s character, that by the end of the novel I only wished for her a long and happy life.
I would definitely recommend The Silversmith’s Wife to those readers who enjoy well written historical fiction.
Thanks to Lindsay and Simon and Schuster for the chance to read this book.