Restoration Lady

Written by Sue Allan
Review by Rachel A Hyde

If, like me, you have read and enjoyed Mayflower Maid and Jamestown Woman you will be eager to read the concluding part of this excellent trilogy. This is the story of Bessie’s further adventures (and misadventures) as she copes with the rest of the Civil War and Cromwell’s reign and sees the return of the monarchy only to get hit again by the double whammy of plague and fire.

I often complain that the 17th century does not get written about often enough, but at least with this series I have if not exactly quantity, but certainly quality. Ms Allan manages to pack a lot in to her fairly slender volumes, which makes a pleasant change from the usual weighty tomes. She gets under the skin of what it must have been like to have lived through such momentous times, and her characters have the ring of authenticity about them with the concerns and ideals of the era. This is also a book that manages not to veer to extremes of black and white, but shows the realism in between both in events and people; some larger-than-life situations, but nothing that cannot be found in the history books.

Here is a rare thing, a highly readable novel of modest length filled with engaging characters and thought-provoking situations. I do hope we haven’t read the last of Sue Allan. Highly recommended, and one series that has to be read in order.