Thu, 07 Jun 2018
The Spice Merchant's Wife by Charlotte Betts
If you’re looking for an easy read this weekend to keep you entertained while the rain interferes with the sunshine, then The Spice Merchant’s Wife by local author Charlotte Betts, perfectly hits the spot.
The backdrop to the story is the re-emergence of London after the havoc and devastation which the Great Fire caused. All the ingredients are there for a page-turner - the feisty female, the slightly weak husband, the villain, the ‘kind’ family, the forbidden lover and even the faithful hound, which bring the story of Kate Finche and her battle against the odds to life.
I read it in two sittings which is not a bad thing because sometimes you want a book that you can totally immerse yourself in. The story might be a tad predictable but it is nonetheless enjoyable..
The depiction of the burning streets is effortlessly done and you get a real sense of the complete devastation the fire caused as survivors all end up in a makeshift refugee camp. The change in circumstances for the wealthy Finche family is extreme and Kate steps up to the mark, making the most of the situation.
The evenutal love story intertwines with skullduggery and deception and Kate has to survive the clutches of the arch-villain of the piece, Mr Hackett.
All-in-all an entertaining read and Charlotte Betts has clearly established a niche for herself, combining history with a dash of adventure. Other books by the same author include The Painter’s Apprentice, The Milliner’s Daughter, The Apothecary’s Daughter and, most recently, The Dressmaker's Secret.