When a publishing assistant at Agora Books reached out to me in January to ask if I’d be interested in reading the re-release of Two Silver Crosses, originally published in 1992, written by the talented Beryl Kingston and being a part of a Blog Tour, my immediate reply was, “Thanks for the opportunity” and I was, of course, sure to include my mailing address. Thus, the journey of a big beautiful book across the Atlantic into my
greedy little hands most welcoming arms. When I finally sat down to immerse myself in this title, I found another historical gem.
Here’s a synopsis of the book straight from the publisher’s press release:
“‘Nobody is to know where we are. You must forget England. That part of your lives is over.’
Twins Ginny and Emily Holborn have everything they could ever need in their Wolverhampton home: a loving family, a garden to play in and a staff waiting to attend to their every need. Until, one summer day in 1926, they disappear without a trace.
Ten years later, bright-eyed solicitor Charlie Commoner is given his first job: track down the still-missing Holborn twins. Despatched to France, he’s left to unravel a web of infidelity, mystery, and terrifying family secrets.”
My thoughts on the novel are positive. It was not a short tale, nor was it fast moving – it was an actual commitment to read – no casual one-night encounter here. However, it didn’t need to be fast-paced and it would have lost so much vital content if it had been shorter. It wasn’t fluffy at all, but had depths of emotion and detailed environs.
Ms. Kingston does a remarkable job of transporting the reader back in time and place with her vivid, descriptive prose. Her characters are well-developed and thoroughly charming, flawed, and enjoyable – with the exception of her antagonists- they are still well-done, but utterly detestable. The book as a whole is warm and moving – a true tale of overcoming adversity and self-discovery.
I will say that I was surprised (within the first chapter) at the depth and content of the family secrets. They were not what I was expecting and the author did a remarkable job of ensuring that it influenced every part of the book. And, yes, while I know I was reading fiction, I was angered on the twins’ behalf that societal norms dictated such a lack of education and awareness of certain matters and that society itself was so harsh. Very much a sins of the father (mother) theme going on.
Overall, I was thrilled by the novel and impressed anew at how well the author captures a different era. It was enjoyable, emotional, and even educational, I would say. Gripping pre-WW2 fiction done absolutely right.
Beryl Kingston is the author of 30 novels with over a million copies sold. She has been a writer since she was 7 when she started producing poetry. She was evacuated to Felpham at the start of WWII, igniting an interest in one-time resident poet William Blake which later inspired her novel The Gates of Paradise. She was an English teacher from 1952 until 1985 when she became a full-time writer after her debut novel, Hearts and Farthings, became a bestseller. Kingston continued writing bestsellers for the next 14 years with titles ranging from family sagas to modern stories and historical novels. She currently lives in West Sussex and has three children, five grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.
If you’d like to catch thoughts on this title from the first Blog Tour stop, head over to Wrong Side of Forty and the second stop at Buttercup Book Review. For the next stops on our tour, visit Books in Their Natural Habitat tomorrow, and both Love Books Group
and Debra’s Book Cafe on the 21st. Pick up a copy of this title for yourself and use the hashtag #TwoSilverCrosses when sharing your thoughts on social media. Also, make sure you tag the publisher – @AgoraBooksLDN on Twitter and Instagram – so they can see and share anything you post!
My thanks again to Agora Books and Beryl Kingston for the opportunity to read this title, share my review, and be a part of the tour.