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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Charlotte Betts - The Spice Merchant's Wife

reviewed live on bookshow by Maggie Perkovic on 9th Jan 2014.
I have never heard of this author before nor of the book, but it is a goodie!!
It was a Christmas present and I loved it.
Set 1666 Kate Fince is newly married to a wealthy spice merchant. After a miserable life with her
Aunt Mercy who brought her up after the death of her parents, she was glad to marry Robert Finche
and looked forward to a happy life with babies and contentment to follow. When the story opens she
and her parents in law are awaiting the return of the firm's ship from foreign parts where her husband
and his father have spent a lot of money in buying new goods for their customers. Tragically the
Great Fire of London destroys their warehouses, then their own house leaving them destitute.
Trying to keep things together her husband takes work for man called Hackett who is going to
rebuild London starting from scratch as it were. Kate finds the man quite repellant and although
her husband insists she is civil to him, she knows he is a con man, but how to prove it is the
task that she sets about bravely and nearly loses her life in the process.
Her inlaws are now in a debtors' prison, and her husband becomes angry with her stand against
his employer, she faces some very dark days, but with the help of some new friends she finally
wins some allies, not before a lot of very frightening occurrences!!
Part of the story is a stray dog "Shadow" who becomes her dear friend, a family Gabriel & Jane
Harte and their little boy who help her in her darkest moments. Besides some other well drawn
characters that come to life against the terrifying flames that consume everything in their path.
This is a page turner and no mistake!!! Recommended Maggie Perkovic

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