Book review stop! Today I’m delighted to be the host for Finding Edith Pinsent, a historical novel written by H. Ward.
First thing first, let me thank Rachel and the publisher, Hope St. Press, for providing me with an e-copy of this book. Much obliged *hat tip*
MEET THE BOOK
A moving story of love, loss and friendship that breaks and uplifts your heart.
Netta Wilde has a task to complete.
She’s agreed to go through the late Edith Pinsent’s diaries and possessions personally. The problem is, she’s been busy sorting out her own life. But she’s in a better place now. She’s free of her manipulative ex, has a new love in neighbour, Frank and has reunited with her kids.
What better time to begin Edie’s story?
But the path to discovery is not easy.
There are missing diaries to contend with, boxes of memories to uncover and revelations that turn everything on its head. Revelations that make Netta question if her own life really is sorted.
Delving deeper into Edith’s history, Netta is overtaken by a need to revisit her own past and put things right, but to do that she has to find the two people who once meant everything to her.
As her two challenges intertwine, Netta realises that Edith had a purpose for her. One that she must fulfil.
Bit by bit, the house yields a lifetime of secrets and the real Edith Pinsent begins to emerge.
But will it be the Edith everyone thought they knew?
Historical, women’s fiction
Publication date: 10/01/22
READ MY REVIEW
Cover: Cute! And I love the color palette.
Once again, I jumped headfirst into a series, uncaring of the previous installments. To be fair, I always had such an inclination, but I thought I could control myself better in my old age, right?
Ward is probably aware of the existence of people like me, because Finding Edith Pinsent, the second book in the Netta Wilde series, reads as a marvelous standalone. That’s worthy of a star already: not everyone is able to start a series from the beginning, or to catch up in 1-2-3. Thank you, Ms. Ward.
Finding Edith Pinsent follows a double timeline. Netta is our anchor to the present, and Edith’s diaries take us back to the forties. Third limited POV for them both—another star—and well-executed, the two MCs have strong, unique voices (with a caveat explained below) and good plots weaved together. Of course, I don’t agree with many choices Edie and Netta make throughout the book, but from a technical standpoint, wow. Great character growth, everyone.
The cast of characters is smaller than I expected it to be, which is always a plus. Again, the ones that stand out the most are linked to Edith, from Robert to Dolly. Mina is maybe the one who reads as perfectly crafted: her voice filters through the pages and Edie’s POV clear as a bell. One last hat tip to Ward for the overall compelling story and to the editorial team for being so precise with the finishing touches. Well-done.
Flaws? Just one. I have to say that Edith’s parts read stronger than Netta’s; it’s not a matter of one being more interesting than the other because the weakness feels a little more structural. There are places where Netta sounds nosey for flimsy reasons (i.e. finding out about Bill), and that’s a disservice to the character. I mean, Netta’s own arc is beautiful, per se.
4 stars on GR.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Hazel Ward was born in inner city Birmingham. By the time the city council packed her family off to the suburbs, she was already something of a feral child who loved adventures. Swapping derelict houses and bomb pecks for green fields and gardens was a bit of a culture shock but she rose to the occasion and grew up loving outdoor spaces and animals.
Strangely, for someone who couldn’t sit still, she also developed a ferocious reading habit and a love of words. She wrote her first novel at fifteen, along with a lot of angsty poems, and was absolutely sure she wanted to be a writer. Sadly, it all came crashing down when her seventeen-year-old self walked out of school in a huff one day and was either too stubborn or too embarrassed to go back. It’s too long ago to remember which.
Against all odds, she somehow managed to blag her way into a successful corporate career until finally giving it all up to do the thing she’d always wanted to do. Shortly after, she began to write her debut novel Being Netta Wilde.
Hazel still lives in Birmingham and that’s where she does most of her writing, although she spends a lot of time in Shropshire or gadding about the country in an old motorhome. Not quite feral anymore but still up for adventures.
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