Drawing Anglo-Saxon and Viking Treasure: Guest Post by Gilli Allan

To tie in with the release of the gorgeous new cover for Buried Treasure, I'm delighted to hand the blog over to author Gilli Allan: ...

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Review: The Forgotten Sister by Nicola Cornick

1560: Amy Robsart is trapped in a loveless marriage to Robert Dudley, a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Surrounded by enemies and with nowhere left to turn, Amy hatches a desperate scheme to escape – one with devastating consequences that will echo through the centuries…
Present Day: When Lizzie Kingdom is forced to withdraw from the public eye in a blaze of scandal, it seems her life is over. But she’s about to encounter a young man, Johnny Robsart, whose fate will interlace with hers in the most unexpected of ways. For Johnny is certain that Lizzie is linked to a terrible secret dating back to Tudor times. If Lizzie is brave enough to go in search of the truth, then what she discovers will change the course of their lives forever.

I was lucky to be offered an advance review copy of this, and accepted at a busy time of year only because there were some months to go before publication and on the agreement that I would read it much nearer to that publication date. Well, I cheated. I'd read it within a week of receipt because I simply couldn't put it down; when I took my mother to her chiropodist appointment, I popped the book in my bag because I couldn't bear not to finish it with only 20 pages to go.

Having read Ms Cornick's The Woman in the Lake I was already aware that she is an expert at inter-weaving story lines and twisty-turny plots. The Forgotten Sister is just as twisty, and left me guessing right up to the end. There were a couple of instances where I thought that a gap had opened up in the plot but no, all holes were filled in and all the threads were tied, although not necessarily in the predicted way.Amy is not an overly likeable character but I don't think she's meant to be. In the modern-day story, Lizzie appears not to be likeable but is, so these two counterbalance each other. The similarity of the characters' names was great fun, and not as obvious as first appeared. Those who share names don't always share similar fates and I enjoyed trying to work out who was and who wasn't like their historical namesake.

Ms Cornick's supreme skill as a story-teller carries you along. And then she sort of blind-sides you, because all the time you are looking for the big twist in the tale. It comes, but completely out of left field. I was so pleased to be taken utterly by surprise and found myself saying out loud, "Oh, that's good."! (Obviously, no spoilers here.)Initially I had a little difficulty suspending my disbelief, but that's always the case with me and such is the quality of the writing that I soon settled in and accepted the worlds as they are presented. All in all, a fabulous read and I look forward to reading more by this extremely talented author.

Buy The Forgotten Sister
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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