A few years ago I read and enjoyed The Tyneside Saga series of books and The Jarrow Trilogy series very much.

I’ve since enjoyed other books by this author, so happily agreed to read a review copy she kindly sent to me via NetGalley a review copy of this book to read.

Using a framework of historical events, the author uses her own family history and individual family members’ involvement in those events to create a stunning epic novel that I found hugely enjoyable.

The main character is Alice, the natural born daughter of Charlotte a wealthy wife estranged from her husband and escaping with her lover to a new life. On the way to meet her lover she is sheltered at a remote lighthouse during a storm in Northumberland and gives birth to Alice, a red headed beautiful little girl. Not wishing to be encumbered by a baby on her travels she leaves the baby with the lighthouse keeper’s wife to bring up as her own. The couple love the child and bring her up as their own within their existing family.

As a young girl Alice bravely saves the life of a soldier John Sinclair which brings her national fame, much attention and he becomes the love of her life. The attention and fame brings forward Charlotte’s husband, now a widower who claims Alice as his daughter and from that point on her life changes completely.

This wonderfully descriptive and atmospheric novel takes us from the often stormy Northumberland coast to India and Afghanistan where Alice encounters John Sinclair again and lives through some terrifying experiences where she is caught up in the unrest and the horrific, violent times in the history of both nations and the military.

Captivating. Terrifying and engrossing

Highly recommended

To Purchase on Amazon UK

British author Janet MacLeod Trotter has had 24 books published, 19 of them historical family dramas. Her first, THE HUNGRY HILLS, was nominated for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, while THE TEA PLANTER’S DAUGHTER (the first in the INDIA TEA SERIES set in Britain and India) was long-listed for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year and was an Amazon top ten best seller. It has gone on to be a best-seller in Russian, French and Italian too. 

Janet’s second novel in THE INDIA TEA SERIES, THE TEA PLANTER’S BRIDE (sequel to THE TEA PLANTER’S DAUGHTER) is set in 1920’s Scotland, North East England and India. It was inspired by diaries and letters that recently came to light, belonging to Janet’s grandparents who married in Lahore and lived and worked in the Punjab for nearly 30 years.

The third novel in the series, GIRL FROM THE TEA GARDEN, follows the family into the Second World War – some of it was inspired by Janet’s trip to the foothills of the Himalayas to discover where her mother had lived as a child. The fourth and final novel, SECRETS OF THE TEA GARDEN, is set in the dying days of the British Raj and Indian Independence.

She has written for teenagers and numerous short stories for women’s magazines, some of which are published in an ebook anthology ICE CREAM SUMMER. She has been a columnist and reviewer for The Newcastle Journal and editor of The Clan MacLeod Magazine. Her childhood memoirs of Durham and Skye in the 1960’s, BEATLES & CHIEFS, was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Home Truths.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Find out more about Janet and her novels at www.janetmacleodtrotter.com