Publisher and Publication Date: Courante Publishing. April 1, 2018.
Genre: Historical Fiction.
Source: I received a complimentary copy, but was not required to leave a positive review. The review copy was a paperback from the author, Catherine Meyrick.
About The Author:
Catherine Meyrick is a writer of historical fiction with a particular love of Elizabethan England. Her stories weave fictional characters into the gaps within the historical record – tales of ordinary people who are very much men and women of their time, yet in so many ways not unlike ourselves.
Although she grew up in regional Victoria, Australia, she has lived all her adult life in Melbourne. She has worked as a nurse, a tax assessor and finally a librarian. She has a Master of Arts in history and is also a family history obsessive.
For more information, please visit Catherine Meyrick’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Blog Tour Page at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Love is no game for women; the price is far too high.
Bess Stoughton, waiting woman to the well-connected Lady Allingbourne, has discovered that her father is arranging for her to marry an elderly neighbour. Normally obedient Bess rebels and wrests from her father a year’s grace to find a husband more to her liking.
Edmund Wyard, a taciturn and scarred veteran of England’s campaign in Ireland, is attempting to ignore the pressure from his family to find a suitable wife as he prepares to join the Earl of Leicester’s army in the Netherlands.
Although Bess and Edmund are drawn to each other, they are aware that they can have nothing more than friendship. Bess knows that Edmund’s wealth and family connections place him beyond her reach. And Edmund, with his well-honed sense of duty, has never considered that he could follow his own wishes. Until now.
With England on the brink of war and fear of Catholic plots extending even into Lady Allingbourne’s household, time is running out for both of them.
You can read the first chapter here.
The beautiful cover for the novel was designed by Jennifer Quinlan of Historical Fiction Book Covers.
I love this story. I love the romantic element. I love the time period. I love the history of this era. I love the main character: Bess Stoughton.
Bess Stoughton is a mature woman. She is a widow. She is one of Lady Allingbourne’s waiting women. Bess is sent home to have a meeting with her father. Her father has arranged for her to marry an older man. This pushes Bess to take matters in to her own hands. I love this aspect of her personality. She is a woman who creates her own life. She has tried to live an obedient life with respect to her father. However, at this point in life, she wants to choose who she will marry. Bess is a wise and savvy woman. She is not innocent and naïve to men’s ploys. I love how she responds with wisdom and tact to suiters. She has self-control, and is ready to respond or remain quiet when threatened.
During this era in England, papists were considered a threat and ill-treated. To be labeled a papist meant probable imprisonment and interrogation. Forsaking All Other does not give a strong history lesson on how Catholics and Protestants were maligned and punished. It is a part of the plot.
The romantic element in Forsaking All Other is beautiful. It is endearing and memorable. The emphasis is a self-sacrificing and deep mature love, rather than a steamy story.
Forsaking All Other is one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read this year!