Thursday 17 March 2022

๐Ÿ“–Publication Day Review ~ The Awakenings by Sarah Maine


Hodder & Stoughton
17 March 2022

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book

Yorkshire, 1890. Having lost her father and brothers in tragic circumstances, Olwen Malkon is forced to leave her childhood home to live with her uncle's family. In his chill vicarage, however, she fears that she is also losing her mind, as strange dreams take her into the life of ร†lfwyn, a woman from a distant past whose fate is overshadowed by menace and betrayal.

In the grip of these afflictions, Olwen finds sympathy with the local doctor, John Osbourne, who is intrigued by her case. Suspecting darker undercurrents are at work, John comes into conflict with Olwen's family, who dismiss her as a hysteric and, when he seeks to protect her, with the law.

As the dreams intensify, danger awaits them both. But when they begin to mirror reality, she and John start to suspect that it is these visions of the past which hold the answers.

๐Ÿ“– My Review..

This dual time story has one foot firmly placed in the Victorian era as we meet Olwen Malkon who has recently come to live with her uncle, aunt and cousins in a vicarage in Yorkshire. Grieving the loss of her own family Olwen is troubled by dark thoughts, which is especially interesting to local doctor, John Osborne, whose interest in the mind, and all its manifestations, is particularly relevant.

Whilst the story captures the restricted atmosphere of the Victorian era with all its prejudices and stifling morality, it also take us further back to the more interesting time of the Anglo-Saxons, and with links which binds Olwen to both her past and her present.

The story gets off to an interesting start, I enjoyed reading about of Olwen's new life at the Vicarage especially as she becomes more and more drawn into her past life as the daughter of a long forgotten Anglo-Saxon King. Both time elements are well done and the thread that binds the two periods in history together has been done in an imaginative way.

I was initially drawn to the story by the book's striking cover and I'm pleased that the timeslip story inside the cover lived up to my expectations.

๐Ÿ“– Best Read with.. a fine beef dinner

Sarah Maine was born in England but grew up partly in Canada before returning to England for university. She studied archaeology and for many years worked in the profession but is now a freelance writer and researcher.

Twitter @SarahMaineBooks #TheAwakenings


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