|One More Chapter
6 October 2023
My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book
and to Rachel's Random Resources for the invitation to the blog tour
When does a story begin?
For Edwin Hope, it begins with a childhood dare and a forbidden tree. It begins with him falling … in more ways than one.
Called home from his studies by the grandfather who has always hated him, eighteen-year-old Edwin is once again trapped in a house that is colder than the winds whipping across the fields. Seeking sanctuary, he escapes into the untamed beauty of the Peaks and meets a woman who sparks an old memory. A memory of the sycamore that broke him, and the little girl who saved him.
Drusilla has had many acolytes over the centuries but none like Edwin. With the Great War looming and Edwin’s future uncertain, she knows the right thing to do is to set him free from her spell, but can she do so if it means breaking her own heart?
📖 My Review..
Historical fiction, with more than a hint of fantasy, forms the basis for this evocative story which introduces us to Edwin Hope whose early childhood, spent with his taciturn grandfather, was both unhappy and isolating. When Edwin was just seven years old, his grandfather, in a pique of rage, sends Edwin to live with distant relatives in Yorkshire, only to be allowed home when his education is completed.
We pick up the story when Edwin, aged eighteen, has returned back to the place he once called home, the old resentments still fester and his grandfather is just as uncompromising in his attitude towards Edwin. The only comfort in this place of secrets is Edwin’s fascination for an old sycamore tree and the spiritual connection he feels towards this powerful symbol of nature and the female spirit who lives within its leaves and branches.
Whilst The Promise Tree has a magical atmosphere there is also a realistic sense of history and I enjoyed how the author worked both into the story, making both elements totally believable. The story is nicely imaginative, with intricate detail so I felt like I was following in Edwin’s footsteps as he struggles to discover who he is and also to connect with his grandfather who only seems to see the worst in him. Covering the momentous years at the turn of the twentieth century, the rather dour nature of Edwin’s life is reiterated when the story takes us from the family owned textile mill in the north of England, to the horror of the battlefields of Europe during the First World War, but running throughout it all is Edwin’s gentle nature, his fascination for the woman he senses in the tree and his determination to put right the sins of the pst and also to finally understand his grandfather’s dislike of him.
Combining magical realism with history is a tricky concept to pull off so all credit to the author for making The Promise Tree such a fascinating story.
About the Author
Elisabeth’s writing career began in 2013 when she entered Harlequin's So You Think You Can Write contest and it turned out she could. She writes romantic Historical fiction as Elisabeth Hobbes and Historical folklore/fantasy inspired romance as Elisabeth J. Hobbes.
She teaches Primary school but would rather write full time because unlike five year olds her characters generally do what she tells them. She spends most of her spare time reading and is a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book.
She lives in Cheshire because the car broke down there in 1999 and she never left. Elisabeth has two almost grown kids, two cats, two dogs and a husband. The whole family are on the autistic spectrum and that probably includes the pets! She dreams of having a tidy house one day.