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Gripping historical fiction with an astonishing twist!
When De Bois captures Robert’s young sister, Edith, events are set in motion, affecting everyone involved. Edith is forced into a terrible world of cruelty and deceit, but finds friendship there too.
Will Robert ever learn why Henry hates him so much? Will Edith’s new-found friendships be enough to save her from De Bois? And who is the mysterious stranger in the reedbed who can disappear at will?
There is a huge plot twist at the end of this novel, one that makes you sit back in awe as you realise how perfectly the story has been written.
It was as if each individual piece of the story were a piece of a puzzle and from each individual piece, it is impossible to tell what it is showing you. However, when presented with the picture as a whole, each piece became so incredibly obvious, everything slotting into place so perfectly that it is difficult to comprehend how much work has gone into weaving each piece of the story together.
Each piece fit together so intricately that, upon reflection, it seems obvious, yet when reading, I was blissfully unaware of how all these characters, seemingly so very different, would come together and paint that picture.
Virginia teases the twist right from the off. But The Year We Lived is so finely written and enchanting that you lose yourself in the world and simply enjoy it, forgetting about this possible twist. You'll begin the novel looking out for clues, wondering what the twist could be, but you'll quickly relax and let the sun-dappled fens, the reeds, woods, the description of the Hall and its inhabitants wash over you and pull you like a slow current into its 11th Century setting.
The Year We Lived blends medieval folklore and superstition with an unforgettable tale of love, loyalty, sacrifice, acceptance and betrayal that can only be described as a page turner.
From danger and fear to secrets and mysteries, this novel has something for everyone. This is the kind of book that I would happily read again, just to pick up on all the little details that I might have overlooked, which hinted to the ending.
The revelation is as much for the characters as for us the readers. As the final pieces slot in, and the threads interweave, the characters we've followed find their own futures, and realise their own place in the ongoing story.
Virginia Crow has built a beautiful story, wrapped around a puzzle, but never cheating us. It's all there.
It’s a great book, clever and intelligent, with lots of historical information giving an authentic feel without disrupting the story flow. I’d recommend The Year We Lived to anyone who loves historical novels but more than that, it’s a darned good read (which is why it’s been shortlisted for so many awards and just won one!).
In 1284, Hamburg was ravaged by fire. Was it an accident? Or one man's revenge?Kevin Beynon
Eight years after the fateful Battle of Hastings. Lord Henry De Bois is determined to find the secret community of Robert, an Anglo-Saxon thane, in this gripping historical fiction with an astonishing twist!Kevin Beynon
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