I have been lucky enough to interact with a many word smiths on my favourite social media platform, 'Twitter'. As an avid reader, getting to chat with authors is as exciting to me as meeting Angelina Jolie would be for a United Nations groupie (with the added bonus that I don't have to hide my unusually gorgeous husband in the background).
'The Popish Midwife' By Annelisa Christensen, (@Alpha_Annelisa) is a classic example of this.
The novelists cheerful and positive twitter profile led me to think;
''By God, I need to read her book!"
So, never being one to miss an opportunity, I downloaded 'The Popish Midwife' and got to reading.
There was something exciting about reading a debut novel that successfully removed me from my modern existence; depositing me firmly amidst the religious prejudice and intrigue of 17th century England.
The plot was both remote from my life and incredibly familiar, highlighting how, with an appalling sense of routine, society will separate and persecute people based on nothing more than religion and race.
In 'The Popish Midwife', Christensen tells the tale of real life heroine Elizabeth Cellier, a midwife who fearlessly trod the line between acceptance in gentile society and execution.
Catholic by marriage, she finds herself unable to turn away from the horror and injustice that abounds in the English legal system; where decisions of life and death are based less on fact and more on fear and ignorance. (Sound at all familiar?)
After witnessing and documenting Catholic prisoners being tortured, Elizabeth sets out to expose the players in a wicked conspiracy to frame innocent Catholics in a plot against the life of the King.
Will her brilliant mind and determination be enough for her to prevail and just how much is she willing to sacrifice in her pursuit of justice?
You'll have to read this intriguing novel to find out! Combining documented fact with engaging story telling, 'The Popish Midwife' will convince even readers who do not usually 'do' historical fiction to dive in and enjoy.
A compelling and composed debut novel, Christensen has crafted a work that earns its space on any bookshelf, or in my case, Kindle Storage.
As always, may your books be awesome and your reading opportunities many.