Troubador Retribution

Released: 28/11/2018

ISBN: 9781789015812

eISBN: 9781789019049

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Set in the 1790s, war between Britain, France and Spain forms the background to Beverley Elphick’s much-anticipated second novel, Retribution. Men and boys are being forced onto the King’s ships by unscrupulous press gangs while the womenfolk left behind struggle to deal with the consequences at home of food-shortages, hunger and rampant disease, as well as smuggling and street crime. In the second of a trilogy beginning with the popular Three Round Towers, Esther Coad is once again on her old stomping ground of Lewes in East Sussex, looking forward to her wedding and hoping to continue her midwifery training with Dr Grieve despite the resistance of Will, her husband-to-be. As before, she moves betwixt and between extremes of wealth and poverty, using her many skills to bring assistance to disadvantaged women in the later stages of pregnancy. But bad blood and old grievances mean that there are those who will stop at nothing to bring down both Esther and the child Beth whose troublesome birth lies at the heart of this tale.
The difficulties and dangers of the times are placed in context by factual snippets from historical documents and local newspapers of the time including The Sussex Weekly Advertiser & Lewes Journal. It is not by choice that Esther’s horizons are expanded far beyond those of home and her resourcefulness tested to the limit when she finds herself on a perilous journey from which there appears to be no return. Will Esther’s fate turn out to be once more that of the outcast or will she find at last the happiness and security she so craves?

Absolutely first class, what a great debut for a new author.
The first couple of chapters told a sad story of life as it undoubtedly was at the time. I found the book rather harrowing to start with but was gripped almost immediately. The story became at turns upbeat and others distressing, as the story of my lives almost certainly are. It had a ring of truth to it. Also it is nice to read about everyday life and people, not the rich and powerful or the beauties to whom astounding but unlikely events happen. It felt real.
I found myself looking forward to my break in the day when I could sit in the garden and read some more.
The book is written very much in the historical times of the central character whose life is followed with such care. The language of the period sounds and feels correct, each character is distinctive without being artificial, the story itself is of great interest and actually feels like a story, not an account of a life. The historical period seems as though it is accurately depicted and was evocative and well depicted without being obtrusive.
Basically, it is a really good read and I can't wait for the next book.

Sussex Express

A great read and hard to put down: This book continues the story of Esther, a young woman having to make her own way in a fairly treacherous world. Just like the first book, Three Round Towers, Retribution grabs you by the hand and swiftly draws you into the murky and surprising world of late eighteenth century East Sussex. It’s a pacy read and very hard to put down! Esther is a strong-minded girl who continually faces challenges most of us today would definitely not want to encounter. Not only that, she’s an orphan with no money and relations who go out of their way to make life hard for her. Despite this, the author manages to bring a lightness of touch which leaves you enriched and empowered by the story. A great read and highly recommended.

by Amanda

The author’s writing style was really well structured and seemed true to the era she was writing about. It is clear that her interest in the life and times of the 18th century was based on good research.

The book's title, Retribution, was so right for this story and there were many times when I was absolutely gripped as to what would happen to Esther.

I particularly liked the added excerpts from the journals and newspapers of the times which helped me understand just how hard life could be for those people ‘living it’.

There MUST be another book – can’t wait.

by Lyn Hayward

Beverley Elphick

I have been involved in writing since my teens; initially amateur, latterly professional.

Writing for local newspapers taught me to follow the maxim 'make every word count'.

Love of books led me to work in the publishing industry before a change of circumstance enabled me to become a Press Officer

Beverley Elphick

Southease Church
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