Wednesday, 6 April 2016

FLOOD (The Fenland Series 1) by Ann Swinfen

5 out of 5 stars

17th century historical fiction/witch hunts

On Amazon UK HERE
On Amazon.com HERE
On Goodreads HERE



What a wonderful chance find this book was!  I've been wanting to read something about the Fens in the 17th century, when the ancient way of life of the Fenlanders was washed away to satisfy the greed of those in power, since reading something about it in a book by Norah Lofts, years ago, but I've never been able to find anything.  Then I chanced upon this book via a random passing tweet (on Twitter). 

The book starts with the very end of the old way of life, when the people of Ann Swinfen's fictional village celebrate old traditions, the bringing in of the May and the beating of the village boundaries, for the last time ~ except that they don't know that the way they live is about to be consigned to a memory of a golden, uncomplicated past.  Mercy, the heroine of the novel, says "Why can we not be left to ourselves, here in the Fens, to grow our food, and rear our animals and mend our houses, troubling no one?  We need no courts or kings or parliaments."  Something that might be echoed by many communities before and since....

As the dreaded 'drainers' move in, life becomes more treacherous for Mercy, her family and friends every day, and is made harder still by unclement weather, failing harvests, and the presence of Matthew Hopkins, witchfinder general.  

This book is so well researched, I relished every word, every description; if only there were pictures, too!  All the characters are so alive (I particularly liked eel fisherman Nehemiah, and soldier George), the story is a real page turner and I was completely engrossed, doing that 'just one more chapter' at three in the morning thing.  It taught me a lot about a subject, time and place that fascinates me, too.  I have just downloaded the sequel, and will be beginning it as soon as I have posted this review.  

Highly, highly recommended; historical fiction at its best.


Review of the sequel, BETRAYAL, HERE

 

14 comments:

  1. This sounds really good! I’ve already downloaded it onto my Kindle.

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    1. Oh, excellent, Cathy! You'll love it. Now, I must go and start the sequel :)

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  2. Terry, what an absolutely lovely review! Clearly you saw exactly what I was trying to do. Thank you so much!

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    1. The pleasure was mine ~ thank YOU! And I'm so glad I saw it the way you intended; it's good when that happens, isn't it?

      Sequel has begun ~ I love it already :)

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  3. I'll definitely read this book, Terry, though I'd never have found it without you. The author was right - what a great review.

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    1. Now THIS is what I love, Marilyn - both you and Cathy, above, have discovered this book because of my review, and I discovered it because of Twitter!!!

      Proof that book blogs and Twitter 'work'!! :^D

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  4. Sounds fabulous, Terry, definitely my kind of book after reading Alison's The Black Hours.

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    1. It's nice and grim and dark, like TBH, Shelley, you'd love it :)

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  5. Ooh - Matthew Hopkins! Shall have to read this!

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    1. I thought of you when I read it, Alison - was going to send it to you. It's such a good 'un :)

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  6. This sounds wonderful Terry, what a great review. I'm definitely off to check this out, thanks :-)

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    1. I'm about 30% into the sequel, and it's really good as well! :)

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  7. Excellent review, TT! On my list now too!

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    1. Seems a popular one all round, VP! :)

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