My monthly newsletter book reviews can be found on my Reviews of what I’m Reading page. But as I read more than one book a month, I leave other reviews here on my blog. They also get posted to Amazon and Goodreads.
Queenie of Norwich is a fascinating historical novel which combines an education about the lives of England’s poor working class and, most interestingly, the travelling fair folk of the early 20th century, with an entertaining tale.
By turning her great-grandmother’s life into a novel, LK Wilde has given Queenie immortality and a place in the hearts of many, many readers. What a character! Outgoing, a born leader, a showman (or show off), being sold to a travelling fair at the age of 6 turned out to be the best thing for our young heroine.
First as Ellen, then Nell, then Queenie, our protagonist adapts and proves she is well able to take care of herself even in some very nasty situations. Yet there is a softness about her, a gentleness seen through her love for her siblings, and especially sister Florrie, which brings her close to us and makes us want the very best for her. There’s pathos here, including in the plight of the mother, so often seen in those times, as well as in other tragedies that befall Queenie. But it’s never sentimental and there’s plenty of humour too.
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Wilde writes very well, bringing her situations and characters to life. She has also ensured her book is well edited, which massively helped my enjoyment of the story. Thank you.
If I have one, very minor, complaint, it’s that I was surprised at how the book ended. My kindle refused to show me what percentage I’d read, so I had no idea where I was up to. I was expecting, hoping, for a little more and was taken aback when I swiped the page and it said The End. What? Perhaps a sequel, following Barbara’s life, might be in order.
And if you’d like to learn more about what Wilde is working on, check out my interview from my July 2022 newsletter with her here.