Beyond the Moon Review

Hi guys!

This review is long overdue as I read this book back in 2019, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write blog posts for some reason! But if anything can bring me back, it’s this book!

Blurb:

In 1916 1st Lieutenant Robert Lovett is a patient at Coldbrook Hall military hospital in Sussex, England. A gifted artist, he’s been wounded fighting in the Great War. Shell shocked and suffering from hysterical blindness he can no longer see his own face, let alone paint, and life seems increasingly hopeless. 

A century later in 2017, medical student Louisa Casson has just lost her beloved grandmother – her only family. Heartbroken, she drowns her sorrows in alcohol on the South Downs cliffs – only to fall accidentally part-way down. Doctors fear she may have attempted suicide, and Louisa finds herself involuntarily admitted to Coldbrook Hall – now a psychiatric hospital, an unfriendly and chaotic place.

Then one day, while secretly exploring the old Victorian hospital’s ruined, abandoned wing, Louisa hears a voice calling for help, and stumbles across a dark, old-fashioned hospital room. Inside, lying on the floor, is a mysterious, sightless young man, who tells her he was hurt at the Battle of the Somme, a WW1 battle a century ago. And that his name is Lieutenant Robert Lovett…

Two people, two battles: one against the invading Germans on the battlefields of 1916 France, the other against a substandard, uncaring mental health facility in modern-day England. Two journeys begun a century apart, but somehow destined to coincide – and become one desperate struggle to be together.

This book is perfection. There aren’t really any other words to describe it. It has stuck with me long after finishing it because I just can’t stop thinking about it! It’s written in such a smooth and descriptive way that I could see everything so vividly in my head. From the hospital rooms to the trenches it felt like I was right there with the characters every step of the way.

The characters are all amazing, I love how real they all are even despite the fact that Louisa is in two different time periods. She seems to adjust so well every time she goes back in time. Another thing I emoji yes was how although she struggled in both times, she always had friends around her which I think was a really nice touch. She made friends quite easily, it didn’t matter whether she was an inpatient at a psychiatric hospital or a nurse near the front line.

I am a huge fan of the books/show Outlander and this book definitely has similar vibes. It also reminds me a little bit of the WW1 section of Downton Abbey, but I think that mostly just a time period similarity! This book does have a lot of themes within it, aside from the love story but that made me love it more. The characters where focused on more than just love and that definitely made them more likeable and real.

I am definitely planning on re-reading this book sometime in the future because I simply adored it. It has also been rereleased with a new cover so I might even buy a second copy to build up a little collection!

A definite 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

See you soon!

Elizabeth

(@daintybeth)

Interpreting the Ripper Letters (Pen and Sword)

Hi guys!

Today I am going to be talking about this incredible book; Interpreting the Ripper Letters by M.J. Trow!

I have been fascinated by Jack the Ripper ever since I was about 16 years old! I have read so many books, watched shows and films and even visited a couple of the locations in London!! This books is definitely up there among the best ones I have read!

I don’t know whether it’s because I am super interested in the subject, but this book was just so easy to read! I read most of it in one day! The first chapter is all about the murders, intruding you into the mystery, so it’s a great book for people who haven’t read anything else before!

This book also talks about evidence and points that I haven’t read about anywhere else. It also dismisses evidence with proof that it wasn’t from Jack the Ripper, with evidence I have never seen explained away before!

I loved the photos and excerpts in the middle section of this book. It showed some of the letters supposedly sent by Jack the Ripper, doodles that were in some of the letters and photos of some of the suspects and police that worked on the case! It helps me a lot to see things connected to what I’m reading about when reading historical books. It helps to make it more real, and forces me to remember that this was actually a horrific time for Whitechapel, and one of the worst serial killers!

This book has definitely reignited my fascination with Jack the Ripper, an Im definitely going to go back and reread some of my other books and compare some of the new things I know!

I couldn’t recommend this book enough! Whether you are interested in serial killers as a whole, Jack the Ripper specifically or just want a more accurate portrayal of victorian police work, this book is AMAZING!

I definitely rate this book 5/5⭐️

See you next time!

Elizabeth

My Favourite Book Covers!

Hi Guys!

Today I wanted to tell you about all of my favourite book covers!

The books cover is the first thing you see, and although there is that famous phrase ‘Don’t Judge a Book By it’s Cover’, I feel like a lot of us do! And a very bad cover will definitely put some people off!

So I decided to share with you some breathtaking book covers, that also have amazing stories inside!!

The Silent Companions

“Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge.With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. For inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself…

This book is an all time favourite of mine! I have spoken about it a couple of times before, but never specifically about the cover! I mean… just look at it!! The details are incredible, I could look at it for hours and still find something new!! And the keyhole is an actual cut out that when you open the book, there is a whole portrait!! I haven’t included photo of that so there is a little bit of a surprise if you buy this book!

This is the hardback edition of the book, which you only seem to be able to buy as used now, but it is definitely my favourite edition! The paperback is similar, but the background is black, and all the illustrations are in a shiny gold instead of a matte gold/brown!

I recommend this book so highly, for both story and cover!

The Way of All Flesh

“Edinburgh, 1847. Will Raven is a medical student, apprenticing for the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Sarah Fisher is Simpson’s housemaid, and has all of Raven’s intelligence but none of his privileges.

As bodies begin to appear across the Old Town, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld. And if either of them are to make it out alive, they will have to work together to find out who’s responsible for the gruesome deaths.”

I have not actually read this one yet, so I cannot tell you if the actual book is good, but judging from the blurb, it sounds amazing! I absolutely adore books set in the Victorian Era, especially when there murder involved!

This cover is just amazing, I love the font so much, and all the swirly patterns and framing is so stunning! I don’t know if any of the imagery connects to the story, but I’m assuming that the bird and the snake do!

Upon first glance I actually thought the snake was the Caduceus symbol, which is often (mistakenly) used as a medical symbol in the US, but is actually a symbol from mythology! In Roman mythology, is was often shown in the left hand of Mercury, who was the messenger of the Gods, guide of the dead and protector of merchants, liars, gamblers and thieves! Which honestly doesn’t sound completely ridiculous for this book! So maybe that was intentional?

Anyway, I love this cover, and the map inside is even more beautiful! And I will leave that either as a surprise, or if you want to see if go to my instagram (daintybeth) and look at my post from the 22nd of July 2019!

The Wicked King (spoilers in the blurb!)

“You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.
The first lesson is to make yourself strong.


After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

I adore how the cover art is actually a small ‘hint’ at part of he story! The detail on the crown is amazing, and I love the split perspective below and above the water! The colours are so beautiful, and I am obsessed with the gold foil effect!!

I may be biased, because these books are some of my all time favourites, but there’s just something about this cover that really pulled me in! This and the first book ‘The Cruel Prince’ have such stunning covers, I cannot wait to see what ‘Queen of Nothing’ looks like in real life!! I also can’t wait to read it because that cliffhanger…..

Wakenhyrst

“Something has been let loose…” 

In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard ancient secrets. Maud is a lonely child growing up without a mother, ruled by her repressive father. 

When he finds a painted medieval devil in a graveyard, unhallowed forces are awakened. 

Maud’s battle has begun. She must survive a world haunted by witchcraft, the age-old legends of her beloved fen – and the even more nightmarish demons of her father’s past.

Wakenhyrst’s cover is so simple, but so beautiful! I love the dark red spots, the image of the raven and the font is stunning! But honestly my favourite thing about this cover is the texture! I’m not sure I can describe it accurately, but you know how most hardback sleeves are a sort of soft to the tough paper? With a little bit of sheen? This paper is completely matte and a little bit rougher! Like its either old or weathered, or something like that!

I haven’t read this yet, so I’m not entirely sure of the cover links up with the plot, but considering the blurb mentions a graveyard and a ‘battle’, I’m going to assume that it does!!!

This book is actually in the next few books on my tbr, so you can expect a review sometime soonish!!

The Binding

Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.
Forever.

Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.

In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.

Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.

This book is literally so stunning! I bought it mainly for how pretty it is, and I hadn’t even taken so the dust jacket yet! Let me just say; I literally gasped! It is designed like an only book but it’s all shiny gold foil!! The pattern is so intricate and detailed, I was literally in awe!

The artwork on the sleeve is just as pretty, it beautifully matched what’s underneath, while somehow being different! I love all the leaves and the old key! Again, I haven’t actually read this one yet but it sounds amazing, so if the story is as good as the cover is pretty then I think it’s going to become one of my favourites!!

————–

These are just a few of my favourites, but I could go on forever! If enough people are interested, I might do a part two one day! But for now, I hope you have found some new books to read!

What are some of your favourite book covers?

See you next time!

Elizabeth

June Wrap Up!

Hello!

I completely forgot to post my monthly tbr at the beginning of June, so I decided to do a wrap up at the end instead! I’m also going to touch on tv shows, because there were a lot of good ones this month!!

This month was probably my most productive month yet! I read six books in total!! I usually only read one or two, so I’m super pleased with this!

Books

The Girl in Red- This post apocalyptic fairytale retelling was so much better than I expected!! I adore the character of Red, and the story was so well adapted!! 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lady of the House- I’ve started reading a lot of historical non-fiction thanks to Pen and Swords, and this is my favourite one so far!! It was so nice to read, each chapter had a lot of information and it was so interesting! 4.5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Accused British Witches Throughout History- This book was little harder going. It’s another from Pen and Sword books, and although it was super interesting, I feel like it’s more of a book that you read a chapter and then just dip back into it as you please, instead of reading it all in one go! 3.5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Hunting Prince Dracula- GUYS! I love Audrey and Thomas so much, and this book did not disappoint! I was on edge most of the time, and I could not guess the ending! It was a complete surprise, but completely perfect! I literally can’t recommend this series enough! 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Growing Things and Other Stories- This collection of stories was super weird, but in a good way! There were some stories that didn’t click with me as much as other, but overall it was amazingly spooky! I’m writing a full review next month for Titan Books, so look out for that! 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Norse Mythology- I have been interested in Norse Mythology for a long time, and this book was so good! It was so well written, Neil Gaiman really is a genius! It has really made me want to read more!! If you are interested in Mythology, this book is perfect! 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tv Series

Good Omens- This show….. I literally can’t sign to tell you how much I love it!! The characters are perfect, the casting choices are amazing, the story is perfect and that OPENING! I’m completely obsessed with the little animation, it’s just perfect! My new favourite show! 6/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Brooklyn Nine Nine- This month me and my sister finally caught up with B99! I will forever love this show, it feels so welcoming and I have watched nearly the whole thing about four times😅 It is so funny, heartwarming and silly, the best sitcom!! 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Trinkets- This show was so good I watched the whole thing in less than a day. All the characters are so lovable (except for one.. he’s a Dick) and it’s such a lovely portrayal of friendship! The girls are so relatable and real, and they develop a friendship to be jealous of! 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Critical Role- I know, it’s not a tv show, it’s a web show. Bu I’m putting it here anyway! This show it so important to me, and for some reason I didn’t watch it for nearly a month, but I’m back not it now and more in love that ever! All the players/characters are amazing and I love them. And Matt Mercer is such an amazing DM, I aspire to be able to plan campaigns like he can! ♾/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I hope you had a lovely month too!! Tell me about an books or TV shows you enjoyed this month!

See you next time!

Elizabeth

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy Review

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy:

A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind-avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens-a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.

Mackenzi Lee’s book ‘The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue’ is one of my all time favourite books. I loved how casually queer it is, it’s treats Percy and Monty’s relationship like any other, treating their struggles like normal struggles and I loved that. It felt like the story was being told from Monty’s naive perspective, barely aware of the prejudices.

The difference between that book and the Lady’s Guide is the Felicity is fully aware of her struggles, and gets super frustrated that she has to deal with them.

The books starts in Scotland, and in typical Felicity fashion she turns down a proposal and spontaneously decides to travel to London.

One of my favourite things about this book is the asexual representation, although it is never explicitly said, Mackenzi Lee has confirmed it and Felicity talks about how she isn’t interested in men or women, and just wants to focus on studying medicine.

The three main characters are completely loveable, they are all strong, independent women. Felicity uses her brains and knowledge of medicine, Johanna uses her beauty and her knowledge of animal life and Sim uses her strength and knowledge of the sea. They work so well together, the way Lee writes them makes their chemistry feel so real it truly makes you feel invested in their friendship and their story.

The story has quite a few little twists, that follow along with the changes in Felicity’s journey, and it just keep you hanging on to every word!! I absolutely adore this book and Mackenzi Lee’s writing!

I rate this book 5/5 starts, and I can’t wait to read the novella she is releasing later this year!!!

See you again soon!!

Elizabeth

The Corset Review

Hello!

If you have come over here from my Instagram, you will probably know how obsessed I am with Laura Purcell’s books! I read the Silent Companions last summer and loved it so so much! And last week, Bloomsbury were kind enough to send me a copy of ‘The Corset’!

I will try to avoid posting any spoilers, as Laura Purcell’s books are definitely ones you need to read knowing as little about what happens as possible! However, if anything is mentioned, I will make it extremely obvious so you can choose to stop reading!

Anyway, without further ado, my first proper book review!

‘The Corset’ by Laura Purcell

Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain?Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder. When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she finds herself drawn to Ruth, a teenage seamstress – and self-confessed murderess – who nurses a dark and uncanny secret. A secret that is leading her straight to the gallows. As Ruth reveals her disturbing past to Dorothea, the fates of these two women entwine, and with every revelation, a new layer of doubt is cast… Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?

From the very first pages, I was completely drawn into Ruth and Dorothea’s respective worlds! Both young women lead very distant, yet strangely interwoven lives. Ruth is a prisoner in a newly built penitentiary, locked up for a weirdly mysterious crime, and Dorothea is a frequent visitor who is fascinated with reading people’s skulls.

Over the course of the book, we are told Ruth’s story from her perspective, as though we are Dorothea, listening to her tell it whilst visiting her in her cell. We are also told Dorothea’s story, about her personal life and struggles. I really enjoyed seeing the two different women’s perspective, reading about Dorothea’s struggle to believe Ruth’s story whilst also dealing with her own problems and how they begun to become intertwined throughout the book!

Up until the ‘big reveal’ at the end, I literally had no idea how the book was going to end! Without spoiling too much, the people that turned out to be the bad guys didn’t give anything away! The way the story was written really made me trust these people, and made me feel almost as foolish as Ruth did when she found out!!

There really wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this book, however I will warn you that there a quite a few scenes that are pretty gory! So if you aren’t a fan of reading about scenes like that, this may not be the book for you!!

The Corset is definitely a book I would recommend if you like Laura Purcell’s other book ‘The Silent Companions’ or anything with a little bit of mystery!! I rate it 5/5 stars!!

Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy of this amazing book!!

Elizabeth