Tuesday 9 January 2018

Pleasing Mr Pepys by Deborah Swift

Selected as
Book Of The Year
Runner Up
AMAZON UK £2.63 £8.07
AMAZON US $3.46 $13.93 
AMAZON CA $12.48

Historical Fiction
17th Century

Walking into Deb Willet's fascinating world is a gradual, glorious immersion into the sight, sounds and emotions of 17th century London, and as the novel progresses, this world becomes more and more real, until the characters move in and take over. I loved the smooth blending of detailed research and well-written fiction; it is apparent that Ms. Swift is a talented historian with a gift for making the past come alive.

For those of us who know something of this time, it was delightful to relive such contemporary events as the Whores' Petition to Lady Castlemaine; while for readers who are not familiar with this period, the highly accessible characters and engaging language welcomes even those new to Historical Fiction. I loved the character of Deb - she always tried to find the best in some very difficult situations, dealing with conniving Dutch spies, lecherous Mr Pepys and the quicksand of her relationship with Mrs. Pepys.

Pleasing Mr Pepys brings us into a cast of strong characters, all of whom try to influence Deb to serve their own dubious motives. Whether she’s being persuaded to spy on Mr Pepys’s writings, defending her virtue to his (rightfully) suspicious wife, or questioning her own Royalist convictions, she thoughtfully tries to find a way out of difficult situations while maintaining her own integrity. And in the background is the clamor and clatter of London…fortune-tellers, actors, shopkeepers and clerics all come alive and weave in and out of country-girl Deb’s introduction to life in the city.

A novel of difficult quests and lost opportunities, I found it a real page-turner, anchored by Deb's adventures. She fell in love, lost her love, and yes...there is a very satisfying ending.

Highly highly recommend. This is one for my keeper shelf, and I know I shall return again to Deb Willet and her world.

© Elizabeth St John

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  1. I loved this book! I agree, it has a cast of very strong characters thrown in impossible situations.

  2. I every book Deborah writes. I have read and reviewed every one. This one however is extremely good. Read A Plague on Mr Pepys also. I can't wait to read the third. This is a seriously well deserved Discovering Diamonds runner up to Book of the Year. Congratulations.

    1. precisely so ... which is why I chose it as my runner up! :-)
      An excellent series by an excellent writer!


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