Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Weeping Sands by John Wheatley

This historic novel is set in three different time periods the seventeenth century, nineteenth century and in the present day.

In the seventeenth century the story is set in the time of the civil war Thomas Cheadle takes up duties as Sir Richard Bulkeley’s secretary and agent of the Baron Hill estates. There were hardly any aspects of the estate business with which the capable Thomas could not be trusted. But Thomas Cheadle is in love with another man’s wife and what will become of Thomas when he his put on trial for murder?

In the nineteenth century Emily and her sister Isobel are going to stay at the remote Baron Hill, after Isobel formed an attraction to James Pennington an artist who was employed to paint her portrait. Knowing that due to their different social standing that they could not be together the couple had tried to elope to France but had been caught and stopped. Fearing for Isobel’s health since then it had been decided it in her best interest for her to travel with Emily to Baron Hill in the hope that the tranquillity and beauty of Baron Hill will be a suitable place for convalescence and recuperation for Isobel and for her to be away from the distractions and recent difficulties she as been through.

In the present day thirty-one year old Jenna Shaw who was a popular children’s TV presenter in the 1990’s and now is presenting the BBC’s Country Retreat agrees to take part in the TV programme “What’s my Linage” a reality TV show that traces ancestors of TV stars. This would bring Jenna great exposure on national television. One of the places she visits is an old ruin called Baron Hill what will she uncover?

Reading this novel is like reading three different stories each of which are equally as good. This is a really original way of writing a story. The flow between the different times is written so well that the reader does not become confused and the stories link together beautifully bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion with a few twists thrown in to make this novel a compelling read.

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