Storks in a Blue Sky

Written by Carol Anne Dobson
Review by Tina Huckle

The novel begins in a rainy 18th-century North Devon, England. It is a story of many things, which are wound and interlinked beautifully by the author once the plot gets going—and I would encourage the reader to keep going, as the beginning is a little hard to get into. However, it opens up into a feisty historical romance.

The main character is the red-haired beauty, Sarah Durrant, a kitchen maid who takes Lady Sophie Throgmorton’s identity through tragic circumstances. Initially she is a sad, whimpering character who flourishes into a wilful and tenacious woman with an unknown ancestry that beholds secrecy and torment. Jean Luc de Delacroix is the dashing French Catholic, bringing science, items of curio, and wisdom to North Devon from the French region of Alsace. They are thrown together not realising how interlaced their souls and lives are and what they will become to each other.

The novel contains interesting content showing the author’s wide range of knowledge, a strong plot, and some glimpses of passionate writing. I did feel, especially at the beginning, that there was too much descriptive detail before getting to the main body of the plot where it flows into an enjoyable read. There is a slight feel of Jamaica Inn.  I found the underlining of emphasised words slightly annoying, which suggests the book has not been professionally edited, and the pages come apart from the spine, which is not the author’s fault but the printer/binders. Also the white title font on a light background on the cover is not easy to see—especially essential for online marketing.

If you enjoy historical romances give this one a go; once into the plot it is an interesting read.