Why hello friends! Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the Blog Tour for The Second Mrs Thistlewood by Dionne Haynes. This is an amazing novel, perfect for all historical fiction readers.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: August 14th 2020
‘Regency England. A land of oppression and social discontent.
Arthur Thistlewood is fighting for a revolution. Susan Thistlewood is fighting for freedom. From Arthur.
Battered and bruised by her violent husband, Susan finds comfort in food and books. As Arthur’s legal property, leaving the marriage seems an impossible dream — until a chance encounter with a charismatic Bow Street Runner. In the sanctuary of an inconspicuous London bookshop, the Runner’s easy manner and unexpected generosity compel Susan to pursue a life without her husband.
But will the Bow Street officer provide a key to Susan’s freedom? Or will he place her in the greatest danger of all?
Inspired by true events from the Cato Street Conspiracy of 1820, this is a tale of courage, determination, and love.’
We all know I’m a sucker for anything Historical Fiction, and The Second Mrs Thistlewood is no exception. This is an inspired and fantastically thought out novel.
Our protagonist is Susan – unwilling wife to Arthur Thistlewood and loving step-mother to Julian. Arthur is a revolutionary, constantly scheming to target the government in an all manner of ill-thought-out plots. He makes for a despicable character, especially when we see his interactions with Susan. She, on the other hand, longs for her independence from her notorious husband.
The biggest strength of this novel is without a doubt the prose. Haynes’ style can only be described as delicious in tone and vocabulary. Descriptions of food are important in this novel, with lines such as ‘The aroma of baked apples fills the room. It reminds me of carefree autumn days…’ and ‘Spices tickle my lips while liquid chocolate coats my tongue in a veil of velvety luxury.’ Haynes really succeeds in bringing the 19th century alive to the reader.
The plot is also exceedingly intriguing. Although it does take a long time to get started, once it does it is definitely worth it. In fact, I loved the amount of time Haynes takes to set up her characters, dropping hints of their motives and foreshadowing their demise in small tidbits of information. The Second Mrs Thistlewood is thought out so well, which I can appreciate as a reader. What’s even cooler about this novel – after doing a bit of a google search, it turns out Arthur Thistlewood was a real person! Although I’m a History Nerd™, I’m more of a Medieval to Early Modern specialist, so an opportunity to learn about the Cato Street Conspiracy was more than welcome!
All in all, this is a fantastic novel. I’d recommend it to both Historical Fiction lovers and general readers alike.
Click here to find more Historical Fiction recommendations like The Second Mrs Thistlewood!
About the Author
Dionne is a retired doctor, living in Plymouth with her husband. She has a passion for history, the great outdoors, good food and life in general. With her medical career now well behind her, she is enjoying a second career as an author. In 2015, Dionne finished writing her first novel The Provenance of Lilly, but after careful reflection and consideration of some harsh criticism, she decided not to put it into print. Instead, she worked hard at honing her writing skills, and published her debut novel, Running With The Wind, in 2019. She is currently working on a sequel which will form Book One of The Trelawney Wives series.
Dionne graduated from St George’s Hospital Medical School in 1992, and started her medical career in the Royal Air Force. In 1998, she left the military to have her son, and worked in General Practice and Occupational Medicine. The opportunity to retire came in 2014 and Dionne did not hesitate to take it, relishing the opportunity to delve into history books and begin her writing career. Although no longer practising medicine, her medical background has some influence in the plotting of her stories. While keen to maintain historical accuracy in her writing, Dionne creates stories from real events with sparse recorded details, allowing her imagination to take over and tell a tale of what may have occurred.