Author: Elizabeth St John
Publisher: Falcon Historical Press
Part of a Series: The Lydiard Chronicles
Type of book: English civil war, debts, gunpowder, family, romance, 1630-1646, strategy, military, siege, royalty, Roundheads vs Cavaliers, battles, war
Year it was published: 2017
Fiercely independent, Luce Apsley rejects the dazzling English court and an entitled marriage arranged by her aristocratic family, and falls in love with a Roundhead soldier. Her mother has embraced the Puritan cause and yet her beloved brother, Sir Allen Apsley chooses to fight for king and country. As England falls into bloody civil war, Luce embraces Parliament's radical views and confronts the very core of the family's beliefs. And when their influential Villiers cousins raise the stakes, King Charles demands loyalty. Allen and Luce face a devastating challenge. Will war unite or divide them? In the dawn of rebellion, love is the final battleground.
Based on surviving memoirs, court papers and letters of Elizabeth St.John’s family, By Love Divided continues the story of Lucy St.John, The Lady of the Tower. This powerfully emotional novel tells of England’s great divide, and the heart-wrenching choices one family faces.
There are a lot of characters, but the main ones include Lucy Apsley who is a healer and is trying to move on with her life and get rid of the debts her late husband left her with. Lucy is courageous, resourceful and is trying her best to be a peacemaker. She also preffers simple pleasures in life to living and being part of the court. Allen is Lucy's oldest son who is charged by his late father to take care of the family. He is resourceful and will do what he can to fulfill his father's promise. He is dutiful, and loves the life at court. Luce is the eldest daughter who is serious minded, very bookish and cares more for common folk than royalty. Like her mother Luce is learning medical and herbal skills and also like her she prefers simple pleasures to a life at court. Other characters, albeit minor included Lucy's family members; her brother and his children as well as her older sister Barbara and her two children and some love interests as well as royalty and parliament, although to be fair the parliament didn't receive as much notice as the royalty.
Blood should be stronger than water
The story is in third person narrative from Lucy's, Allen's and Luce's points of view. While I do feel that its necessary to read the previous book, for those who haven't read The Lady of the Tower, this book can be a good stand-alone novel because the author does a good job at moving forward and making it seem as if the first book is optional. In other words, although the past influences the main characters, ultimately they make their own destinies.
About the Author
Elizabeth St.John was brought up in England and lives in California. To inform her writing, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and Castle Fonmon to the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it’s hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth’s family still occupy them – in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that’s a different story…
By Love Divided, Elizabeth’s sequel to The Lady of the Tower, follows the fortunes of the St.John family during the English Civil War, and is out now.
For more information, please visit Elizabeth St. John’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Ever since last year when I read The Lady of the Tower, the characters from that novel wouldn't leave me alone; for I often wondered how things will for Lucy and her children, especially since the ending of the story. (I also couldn't help comparing these stories to Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy by Sally Christie and how eerily similar the two periods are!) thus I was pretty excited about the sequel and already wondered if it was worthy of The Lady of the Tower. (It is, I am happy to report,) and if the author can keep up the pacing and momentum begun in The Lady of the Tower. (she does a good job) This is a very bittersweet story of fraught relationships and trying to prove that blood is much thicker than water. I already am looking forward to a third book which I hope will come out soon and how characters will react to the ultimate conclusion of the English Civil War.
This is for HFVBT
Blog Tour Schedule
Saturday, November 4
Kick Off at Passages to the Past
Sunday, November 5
Excerpt at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Monday, November 6
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time
Thursday, November 9
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Friday, November 10
Feature at WS Momma Readers Nook
Monday, November 13
Review at Bookish
Wednesday, November 15
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Thursday, November 16
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Friday, November 17
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, November 20
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Tuesday, November 21
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Thursday, November 23
Excerpt at T’s Stuff
Saturday, November 25
Review & Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Monday, November 27
Review at Adventures Thru Wonderland
Tuesday, November 28
Feature at A Literary Vacation
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)