How can a mother just stand by when her daughter is being cozened into sin?
It’s 1360, eleven years since the Black Death devastated all of England, and six years since Emma Ward fled Meonbridge with her children, to find a more prosperous life in Winchester. Long satisfied that she’d made the right decision, Emma is now terrified that she was wrong. For she’s convinced her daughter Bea is in grave danger, being exploited by her scheming and immoral mistress.
Bea herself is confused: fearful and ashamed of her sudden descent into sin, but also thrilled by her wealthy and attentive client.
When Emma resolves to rescue Bea from ruin and tricks her into returning to Meonbridge, Bea doesn’t at first suspect her mother’s motives. She is happy to renew her former friendships but, yearning for her rich lover, Bea soon absconds back to the city. Yet, only months later, plague is stalking Winchester again and, in terror, Bea flees once more to Meonbridge.
But, this time, she finds herself unwelcome, and fear, hostility and hatred threaten…
Terror, betrayal and deceit, but also love and courage, in a time of continuing change and challenge – Children’s Fate, the fourth MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLE.
As we meet Emma and her children again, in this fourth book book in the Meonbridge series, all seems well for the family, until Emma discovers that something is amiss with her eldest, Bea. Except, Bea doesn’t necessarily see things in the same light. As we switch between Winchester and Meonbridge itself, it’s interesting to read that whatever the era, the sometimes fraught relationship between parents and children isn’t really that different.
The contrast between rural and city life, and the people who inhabit both, are well drawn, and I enjoyed being transported back to the fourteenth century. Of course, with references to the plague throughout, it’s difficult to ignore the current situation, but given the established time and place, it is easier than I feared to put Covid aside, and focus on the characters we’re introduced to, or reintroduced to, from previous books.
As well as the contract of rural and city, there’s also a definite change of pace once the plague arrives in the book. Prior to that, even with the characters’ problems, there was a sense of calm, of slowness; suddenly when the plague appears, there’s a rush of illness, of fear, and of anger, which I couldn’t put down! Definitely recommended, and I can’t wait for more in the series.
CAROLYN HUGHES was born in London, but has lived most of her life in Hampshire. After completing a degree in Classics and English, she started her working life as a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. But it was when she discovered technical authoring that she knew she had found her vocation. She spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the government.
She has written creatively for most of her adult life, but it was not until her children grew up and flew the nest several years ago that writing historical fiction took centre stage in her life. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.
Children’s Fate is the fourth novel in the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES series. A fifth novel is under way.
You can connect with Carolyn through her website http://www.carolynhughesauthor.com and social media:
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