What Empty Things Are These
Reviewed By: Susan Keefe
Susan Keefe reviews and promotes poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and is also author of the Toby's Tails series of children's books
An incredible journey back in time to Victorian England.
Readers of this captivating historical novel are taken by its author, J. L. Crozier, on an incredible journey back in time to Victorian England. With a fascination with English history, the author as a Masters in Creative Writing from Melbourne University, and has also won awards for short stories. Born in Malaya, after having lived in south-east Asia, Burma, Vietnam, and Australia, she now lives in France with her sons.
The time is 1860, and young Adelaide Broom is like other girls of her era, shy, yet dreaming of romance and the handsome young men who she meets and dances with, whilst being carefully chaperoned. However, she soon discovers that her fate has already been decided, she is to marry the elderly, respectable friend of her fathers, George Hadley. In this strict period of history she does her duty, yet, inside she has a spirit which is expressed in her secret writing, a pastime which allows her to pour out her feelings, and observations, unrestrained.
It is Mr Collins’s sensational (at the time) novel, The Woman in White, which is to lead to her husband’s undoing. Arriving home and furious at finding her reading something he considers so unsuitable he, as husbands had the right to do at that time, beats her. Ironically, it is this action which causes him to suffer an apoplectic fit, which results in him becoming comatose.
Suddenly the household is very different, and Adelaide has to learn to adjust to the changes in her circumstances. Now, with the support of her Ladies Maid Sobriety, this young wife and mother must manage everything, and keep up appearances, not only for herself, but also her eight year old son Toby.
However, as her horizons expands, she soon discovers the flip side to the perfect world she has grown up in. This is the one which lies beneath the silver and damask of the drawing room, and instead lives in the shadows and tunnels below London. In this world which reeks of deception, greed and treachery, her naivety is cruelly stripped away from her…
This story is more than a story, it’s a real experience! Through the authors vividly descriptive writing the reader finds themselves in Adelaide’s shoes, and the pages just come alive!
In Summary: Beautifully written, wonderfully detailed and entertaining, I highly recommend this outstanding story to lovers of historical fiction.
Author’s Website: https://www.regalhousepublishing.com/judy-crozier/