Author: Jane Johnson

Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for over 20 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer. She is responsible for the publishing of many major authors, including George RR Martin.

In 2005 she was in Morocco researching the story of a distant family member who was abducted from a Cornish church in 1625 by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa, when a near-fatal climbing incident caused her to rethink her future. She returned home, gave up her office job in London, and moved to Morocco. She married her own ‘Berber pirate’ and now they split their time between Cornwall and a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. She still works, remotely, as Fiction Publishing Director for HarperCollins.

#BookReview The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson @JaneJohnsonBakr @SimonSchusterCA #TheSeaGate #JaneJohnson

#BookReview The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson @JaneJohnsonBakr @SimonSchusterCA #TheSeaGate #JaneJohnson Title: The Sea Gate

Author: Jane Johnson

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Nov. 17, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

A broken family, a house of secrets—an entrancing tale of love and courage set during the Second World War.

After Rebecca’s mother dies, she must sort through her empty flat and come to terms with her loss. As she goes through her mother’s mail, she finds a handwritten envelope. In it is a letter that will change her life forever.

Olivia, her mother’s elderly cousin, needs help to save her beloved home. Rebecca immediately goes to visit Olivia in Cornwall only to find a house full of secrets—treasures in the attic and a mysterious tunnel leading from the cellar to the sea, and Olivia, nowhere to be found.

As it turns out, the old woman is stuck in hospital with no hope of being discharged until her house is made habitable again. Rebecca sets to work restoring the home to its former glory, but as she peels back the layers of paint and grime, she uncovers even more buried secrets—secrets from a time when the Second World War was raging, when Olivia was a young woman, and when both romance and danger lurked around every corner…

A sweeping and utterly spellbinding tale of a young woman’s courage in the face of war and the lengths to which she’ll go to protect those she loves against the most unexpected of enemies.


Review:

Rich, mysterious, and incredibly absorbing!

The Sea Gate is an alluring, dual-timeline tale set in Cornwall during WWII, as well as present-day, that is told from two perspectives; Olivia, a young girl struggling to survive in a world driven by insecurity and fear and ravaged by war, and Becky, a young woman who unexpectedly stumbles across a slew of long-buried family secrets and an offensive parrot after travelling to the home of her mother’s 90-year-old cousin to help fix it up and prepare it for her return.

The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are resilient, brave, and determined. And the plot, along with all the seamlessly intertwined subplots, is an impressive blend of drama, emotion, family, secrets, mystique, love, loss, courage, passion, heartbreak, and self-discovery.

Overall, The Sea Gate is an evocative, immersive, moving tale that sweeps you away to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the personalities, feelings, and lives of the characters you never want it to end. It is undoubtedly one of my favourite novels of the year and another fine example of Johnson’s extraordinary ability to write exceptionally memorable storylines.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

       

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jane Johnson

Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for over 20 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer. She is responsible for the publishing of many major authors, including George RR Martin.

In 2005 she was in Morocco researching the story of a distant family member who was abducted from a Cornish church in 1625 by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa, when a near-fatal climbing incident caused her to rethink her future. She returned home, gave up her office job in London, and moved to Morocco. She married her own ‘Berber pirate’ and now they split their time between Cornwall and a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. She still works, remotely, as Fiction Publishing Director for HarperCollins.

#BlogTour & #BookReview Court of Lions by Jane Johnson @JaneJohnsonBakr @HoZ_Books

#BlogTour & #BookReview Court of Lions by Jane Johnson @JaneJohnsonBakr @HoZ_Books Title: Court of Lions

Author: Jane Johnson

Published by: Head of Zeus on Jul. 6, 2017

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 397

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Head of Zeus, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

An epic saga of romance and redemption. Court of Lions brings one of the great turning points in history to life, through the stories of a modern woman and the last Moorish sultan of Granada.

Kate Fordham, escaping terrible trauma, has fled to the beautiful sunlit city of Granada, the ancient capital of the Moors in Spain, where she is scraping by with an unfulfilling job in a busy bar. One day in the glorious gardens of the Alhambra, once home to Sultan Abu Abdullah Mohammed, also known as Boabdil, Kate finds a scrap of paper hidden in one of the ancient walls. Upon it, in strange symbols, has been inscribed a message from another age. It has lain undiscovered since before the Fall of Granada in 1492, when the city was surrendered to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Born of love, in a time of danger and desperation, the fragment will be the catalyst that changes Kate’s life forever.

Court of Lions brings one of the great turning-points in history to life, telling the stories of a modern woman and the last Moorish sultan of Granada, as they both move towards their cataclysmic destinies.


Review:

Absorbing and romantic!

This is a historical love letter to the city of Granada complete with incredibly intriguing and genuine details about The Granada War that took place in the late 1400s and included the rise and subsequent fall of Abu Abdullah Mohammed, the twenty-second and last Islamic ruler of this emirate.

The story is told from differing perspectives; Blessings, a young confident whose yearning and love for the young sultan never wavers; and Kate, a middle-aged woman who finds herself immersed in a mystery from the past while running in fear from her own. The prose is exceptionally descriptive. The characters are complex, fascinating, and sympathetic. And the plot uses a back and forth, past/present style that sweeps you along through the highs and lows of both Blessings and Kate’s life.

Once again, with this novel, Johnson has written a remarkably researched tale that effortlessly interweaves religious persecution, cultural discrimination, and violence with threads of passion, acceptance, devotion, support and the true power of love.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

           

 

 

Thank you to Head of Zeus for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jane Johnson

Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for over 20 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer. She is responsible for the publishing of many major authors, including George RR Martin.

In 2005 she was in Morocco researching the story of a distant family member who was abducted from a Cornish church in 1625 by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa, when a near-fatal climbing incident caused her to rethink her future. She returned home, gave up her office job in London, and moved to Morocco. She married her own ‘Berber pirate’ and now they split their time between Cornwall and a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. She still works, remotely, as Fiction Publishing Director for HarperCollins.

 

%d bloggers like this: