The story of a friendship, which began in Shropshire during the Pre-Regency era (1794 – 1802).
Tom Norbery’s decision, to bring two orphaned children to live at Linmore Hall, changes the life of his son, Joshua, for the better.
It does not make his older brother less aggressive, or his mother kinder, but for the first time in his life Joshua has a friend. Someone to talk with, share his adventures and best of all his ambition to be a soldier. All he has to do is accept Charlie Cobarne’s little sister, which at the time does not seem too much to ask.
But Sophie, unlike other girls in the Linmore household, disdains female refinements in favour of masculine hunting pursuits at which she excels. She challenges her brother and Joshua to prove her mettle, until Charlie agrees that she can follow the drum when they join the army. In so doing, she binds their friendship together, but her continuing presence causes the once strong bond between the young men to become a recipe for misunderstandings.
Changing family circumstances force Sophie to conceive a plan of which she is sure Charlie will approve – knowing that Joshua always agrees with her brother. Single minded in her determination to keep them together, Sophie little realises the far-reaching consequences for them, and Linmore, if her plans should go awry. Or who, if she pushes them to the limit, has most to lose?
The first part of an interlinking series about the landed gentry and working classes at a time when the Napoleonic Wars rumble on in the background, and life, with its family feuds and intrigues, continues in a rural England coping with the changes of the Agricultural Revolution. A coming of age story.
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Timed to coincide with the Bronte Festival of Women's Writing, (September 9th - 11th), Jemima Brigges' KDP free ebook promotion ran from Thursday 8th - 12th September inclusive. During that time Counting the Cost achieved the #1 slot in the Literary fiction / Historical, and #2 in British & Irish / Historical ebook categories. The #1 position qualified Counting the Cost to be rated as an Amazon Bestseller in the Free ebook category.
4 out of 5 stars
A very interesting read, this was. I thoroughly enjoyed Brothers at Arms, especially the first part with the two boys Joshua and Charlie meeting, becoming friends and growing up. With Charlie's silly, subordinate sister trailing behind. A compliment to the author: this reminded me of books written by Frances Burnett.
The story is well written, and reveals all that the boys deal with when growing up and later with Joshua (part two) learning about agriculture and managing an estate. To be honest: in the second part some of the information made it a slow read.
And of course there are plenty of scandals that need to stay underneath the carpet. One is not supposed to marry a dairymaid or housekeeper. And Charlie is embarrassed by the way his sister dresses when he and Joshua return from their Grand Tour through Italy, Macedonia and Greece.
by F.E. Duivis
This is one for all fans of historical fiction. Clearly, the author has researched the period thoroughly, so that the reader is drawn through the action with nothing to inhibit the seamless continuity of the story.
A real treat; I cannot recommend it too hightly and I shall be looking out for the next in the series.
by Chris Calder
4 out of 5 stars
Full Text: A nicely written period drama about a boy coming of age at the turn of the 1800s in England. The first part of the story concerns two boys growing up together as brothers, being followed by a wilful sister. The boys go away on their Grand Tour leaving her behind when she starts running amok. Conflict occurs after the boys return caused by Sohpie that leads to a permanent divide between the boys. The second part of the story is about what happens next and how our hero learns all about estate management and being a man. The characters are interesting, but sometimes just vanish without notice. The plot sometimes shows signs of life, but fades away fairly quickly with any possible dramas being concluded without any fuss. The dark shadows of the past are not a twist at the end, because within the first couple of chapters the reader has worked all the family connections out and it is only the hero who finally has to see the truth. The real charm of this book was the description of life among the gentry which gave a real feel for the time. A light and enjoyable read.
by Brianna Connelly
4 out of 5 stars
A fabulous romp of a novel that has a touch of Georgette Heyer about it - recommended.
by Roman Clodia
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Full Text: A very well written book, taking you through amusement and horror, shock and surprise. Thoroughly researched and well written, the main character is endearing, funny and shocking, more please author, more please.
by Ann Applin
Having never before read any historical novels, I thoroughly enjoyed Jemima's first book. History is brought to life in this fabulously well written book, really interesting characters, incredibly well researched, a fascinating insight into C18th life and a storyline that will run and run. Having seen a second book is now published I'm off to order it right now ;))
by S W M Pryce
In this day and age of generic and seemingly endless mediocre and mono dimensional novels, it is extremely refreshing, and reassuring, to uncover hidden gems that are well developed and populated with fleshed out characters in interesting scenarios. The characters feel genuinely constrained by the social conventions of the time, rather than simply being transplanted from other periods where their behaviour would be at odds with the norms and conventions. The contrast between rural and city life at the turn of the nineteenth century Britain serves as an excellent backdrop as the dilemmas facing the protagonists unfold. Each chapter oozes attention to detail and the author displays a keen ability to project and maintain character viewpoints which drive the narrative along so it is experienced rather than forced; the result is a story which is a real pleasure to discover. Reading the follow up, Counting the Cost, only confirms the talent of this author and I look forward to more stories emerging, hopefully soon.
by Julian L