Well do I have some treats for you today! I’m sharing my review of Tracy’s Rees’s new historical fiction novel, The Elopement, you can read the first chapter of the book AND, thanks to Chloe at Pan Macmillan, you can win a copy of the book for yourself! You’ll find details of how to enter after the extract.
About the book
A wealthy heiress . . .
1897. Rowena Blythe is wealthy, entitled and beautiful. As her twenty-fourth birthday approaches, she’s expected to marry – and to marry well.
An unsuitable match . . .
Her parents commission a portrait of Rowena to help cement her reputation as a great society beauty. However, Bartek, the artist’s young assistant, is unlike any man Rowena has met before – wild, romantic and Bohemian. While society at large awaits the announcement of Rowena’s engagement, it is Bartek who captures Rowena’s heart along with her likeness.
A scandal in society . . .
Rowena knows her parents would never approve of Bartek, who in their eyes is nothing but a penniless foreigner. As her feelings grow, she has no-one to turn to. Dare she risk everything for love?
The Elopement is loosely linked to Tracy Rees’s previous novel The Rose Garden which I read and reviewed in 2021. You can read my review of that here. Readers who have read that one will enjoy catching up with Mabs and Olive and in particular seeing how successfully Olive’s charitable foundation is operating and transforming lives. If you haven’t read the first book though, don’t worry as Tracy Rees includes enough detail for you to pick up the backstory for Olive.
The lives of the other main characters, Pansy and Rowena, couldn’t be more different. Rowena is the daughter of aristocracy and used to having her every need catered for. As the only daughter, she is expected to make a good match and pressure is on her to marry. Pansy is a maid in the household, one of those who caters to Rowena’s needs and she hates it. She lives for her days off when she can go to spend time with her family. She is a bright young woman and is so unhappy. Despite these very different lives, the women have much in common. They are both trapped by their social circumstances and because they are women.
I really enjoyed this engaging story of women rebelling against the constraints and expectations of society. It was interesting that two of the minor characters who make a brief appearance, Eliza Orme and Cornelia Sorabji, were real historical figures. They were inspiring women who challenged assumptions and broke down some barriers.
The Elopement is absorbing historical fiction showing women with the courage to stand up to injustice and refusing to conform. I was cheering Pansy and Rowena on as they followed their hopes and dreams, finding true purpose in their lives and happiness along the way. I really hope we get to find out more about them in a subsequent book, Pansy in particular. In The Elopement, we get a vivid picture of life in late Victorian Britain across different social strata. In particular we get a sobering view of how few rights women were afforded, no matter their class, until some were brave enough to stand up for change. Tracy Rees is a great storyteller with a talent for bringing the past to life.
Read Chapter 1 in which we meet Pansy and Rowena
Win a copy of The Elopement
To enter the giveaway, click the link below. You have until the end of Saturday 18th February to enter – UK entries only. You must be willing to give me your address so I can send out your prize. Good luck!
Click here to enter the giveaway
About the Author
Tracy Rees, author of Amy Snow, was the first winner of the Richard and Judy ‘Search for a Bestseller’ competition. She has also won the Love Stories Best Historical Read award and been shortlisted for the RNA Epic Romantic Novel of the Year. A Cambridge graduate, Tracy had a successful career in non-fiction publishing before retraining for a second career practising and teaching humanistic counselling. She has also been a waitress, bartender, shop assistant, estate agent, classroom assistant and workshop leader. Tracy divides her time between the Gower Peninsula of South Wales and London. The Elopement is Tracy’s latest mesmerizing historical romance.
2 thoughts on “The Elopement by Tracy Rees | #historicalfiction #bookreview #extract #giveaway | @AuthorTracyRees @PanMacmillan | #TheElopement”
I’m pretty new to historical fiction so I don’t have a favourite historical time period at the moment. I’ve been trying out different books by different authors to see which writing styles and time periods I like best. I would say that Stacey Halls is one of my favourite authors in this genre. I loved The Familiars and The Foundling.
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Oh yes, The Familiars was excellent!