Troubador The Diamond Fund

Released: 28/08/2014

ISBN: 9781783065141

eISBN: 9781783065714

Format: Paperback/eBook

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The Diamond Fund

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A morning in October 1830 - in the Polish town of Bialystok, then part of the Russian Empire. The day is starting normally for Murad Amrad Galperin, a well-respected member of the town’s thriving population of Ashkenazi Jews. On this day however, a sequence of events begin to unfurl that will later culminate in Murad Amrad being accused of the murder of a young Russian Viscount who owes him a considerable amount of money.

Shortly before his death, the Viscount secretly gave Murad Amrad a gold bejewelled box topped with a priceless diamond as collateral against his loans. It belonged to his mother, the Countess, and was not his to give, but Murad Amrad assured him of its safe return once his debts were repaid. After the Viscount’s body is found however, and the Russian authorities seek to make him a scapegoat, Murad Amrad is reluctant to reveal the presence of the jewel box for fear of incriminating himself further. Assisted by his friends and the rabbi, and seeing no other option, he decides to flee, taking his extended family and the jewel box with him. At a time when harsh discriminatory legislation was forcing thousands of Jews to leave their homes and seek employment elsewhere, and when the repercussions of the Polish rebellion against the Russian authorities was still reverberating around Eastern Europe, the Galperin family set out on a journey that ultimately transforms their lives. But there’s a cost to pay.

Set amongst the turbulent history of the 19th century, when the mighty Russian Empire ruled much of Europe, and the Ottoman Empire the Middle East, The Diamond Fund is a story of human resourcefulness under enormous pressure, the hardships of reinvention and the pain of loss. The reader is taken through decades and great distances from Poland to Palestine and beyond, meeting some extraordinary characters along the way. This book explores the complex mingling of global and family history and will appeal to all readers of historical fiction, as well as those interested in the politics of Europe, Russia and Palestine during the 19th century.

The Diamond Fund reviewed for the Historical Novel Association:
"The Diamond Fund” by Philippa Annett is an extraordinary piece of historical fiction. Starting in Russian occupied Poland it describes the story of Murad Amrad Galperin, an Ashkenazi Jew from Lithuania, whose unfortunate dealings with a Russian Viscount force him to leave Europe.
Although I thought I knew some Jewish history in the 19th century, the book managed to teach me a lot of new perspectives. The history at that time is particularly rich with small but significant changes and the Galperin family provides a very suitable vehicle to show the complexities and personal repercussions of historic developments on individuals.
The book is well researched. It tells, with excellent detail and understanding, the political and cultural developments in Europe and more so in Palestine during that period. It contains a lot of facts worth knowing to understand the present situation in the region.
Annett has created great characters for her story and managed to span a wonderful arc from Poland to Palestine. It is a story of human survival, full of colour, rich in history, suspense and emotion.
Very enjoyable.

www.philippa-annett.co.uk

The Self-Publishing Magazine

Historical Novel Society

Henley Standard

Western Gazette

The Western Gazette

One of those wonderful books that you can't put down! It fills your mind entirely with sights, sounds and smells of a far away place and time through an inspirational family story that has made me desperate to go to the desert. Giving an immense wealth of historical information told on a page-turning personal level that builds upon and increases the excitement of the family saga it surrounds. Beautifully written and a huge recommendation for anyone looking for the perfect holiday read.

by Melanie O'Shea


A brilliant book - a must read for all

by Waterstones, Yeovil


This had me gripped from the first page. The type of book where you want to find out the full story but at the end wish there was more. Well researched, well written and totally impossible to put down once you've started reading. Looking forward to the next book from Philippa Annett.

by CPR on Amazon


A must read. Compelling human story wrapped in the history of it's time

by P. Irish on Amazon


I could not put this book down yet didn't want it to end. Can't wait for the sequel!

by Beverley McMahon


..Philippa Annett your novel The Diamond Fund is brilliant. Brilliant plot, brilliant characters, brilliantly written. This will make a nail biting, emotional roller coaster, film! Thank you for writing it! Have not been so 'into' a book for ages! Now I must get on with all the other things that have been on hold for three days!

by Leigh Walton


“THE DIAMOND FUND is a sorrowful story indeed, but not weighed down due to the fortitude of the characters, amazing human beings. You’ve done your ancestors proud indeed – the story flows beautifully – your style is so assured and the obvious affection you feel for them shines through too. I just loved it and am starting to read it again! How well you’ve researched the political background and every day living. It’s an education really and the maps you included were such a bonus. One cannot but reflect how comparable the politics are to todays’ – mankind’s cruelty does not diminish with time.
All the exotic and colourful twists and turns and characters – Russian Counts, Rabbis, Sheikhs, the fabulous jewels and the romance of the desert; all interwoven so skillfully. Do you know any film producers? I think the book is ideal for filming!”

by Vera Lorage


A must read that I could not put down. A perfect mix of history and fiction with heaps of drama along the way. Superb characters that you are totally engrossed with and storytelling at its best. Would make a great film!

By Marina on Amazon 27th Aug 2014

by Marina


The Diamond Fund reviewed for the Historical Novel Association:
"The Diamond Fund” by Philippa Annett is an extraordinary piece of historical fiction. Starting in Russian occupied Poland it describes the story of Murad Amrad Galperin, an Ashkenazi Jew from Lithuania, whose unfortunate dealings with a Russian Viscount force him to leave Europe.
Although I thought I knew some Jewish history in the 19th century, the book managed to teach me a lot of new perspectives. The history at that time is particularly rich with small but significant changes and the Galperin family provides a very suitable vehicle to show the complexities and personal repercussions of historic developments on individuals.
The book is well researched. It tells, with excellent detail and understanding, the political and cultural developments in Europe and more so in Palestine during that period. It contains a lot of facts worth knowing to understand the present situation in the region.
Annett has created great characters for her story and managed to span a wonderful arc from Poland to Palestine. It is a story of human survival, full of colour, rich in history, suspense and emotion.
Very enjoyable.

by The Historical Novel Association


Philippa Annett

I have been very lucky to live most of my adult life in the beautiful West Country. Walking my dogs in the countryside and being surrounded by nature and wildlife continues to be one of my greatest joys. My many other interests include photography, history, ancestry, travel and literature.

Whilst raising my three children I looked after our smallholding, worked with local conservation groups and managed a successful marketing business. I also wrote a vegetarian cookery book, NATURALLY HEALTHY, published in 1984.

I have always enjoyed writing for pleasure, but it was the journey made by my forebears nearly two centuries ago that was to become the inspiration for my first novel, THE DIAMOND FUND.

When my father died, I inherited a collection of family photograph, letters and documents and spent a year continuing his research into the origins of his rather mysterious forebears. In the process I made some extraordinary discoveries about their origins, and was eventually able to trace their journey from Eastern Europe in the early 19th Century to the Middle East one hundred years later! In so doing, I realized I had found the subject for the novel I had always wanted to write!

Against a backdrop of historical events as might have been seen through their eyes, THE DIAMOND FUND is nevertheless a fictional story. Although I have loosely modelled the story on that of my forebears, names have been changed and characteristics, conversations and most of the events in the story are from my imagination. Some however are not, and I leave it to the reader to decide which!

In order to find out what life might have been like in 19th Century Europe, I began by visiting Bialystok in Poland, where the book starts. I found it to be a hugely evocative city and my fictional family came to life with great ease. For their later experiences in Palestine, I drew on my childhood memories of the Middle East, where I lived for some years as a daughter of the British Army.

I have always been acutely aware of the fabric of family; of stories handed down through generations that weave themselves into the essence of every individual. Researching and writing a novel that explores this concept has been a unique and exciting experience. My only regret is that my father didn't live long enough to read it.

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