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** My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour **

 

Description:

Harriet has begun to despair of her life.

With a failed relationship behind her, a business on the rocks and a flat that’s falling apart around her ears, she could really use some luck.

Elena Banbury, née Guseva, an elderly but imposing Russian woman who is Harriet’s neighbour and landlady, frequently entertains the punters at Harriet’s jewellery stall with tales of the palaces of St. Petersburg and the treasures of Fabergé. But Harriet sometimes feels, guiltily, that she could do without the endless errands that seem to fall to her as Elena’s friend.

Then, unexpectedly, when Elena dies, she leaves all her worldly goods to a grateful Harriet. In time, however, it becomes clear that others are shocked by Harriet’s good luck, too. Shocked… and very, very unhappy.

Challenged in court by Elena’s family who live in Berlin, Harriet is forced to give up her inheritance and long-dreamed-of plans for a new business, and start her life again. But with her reputation in tatters and the memory of Elena tainted, Harriet knows a great injustice has been done.

Against the advice of her friends, family and lawyers, Harriet sets off on her own, very singular journey to Berlin.

In the weeks that follow she meets rich and poor, the glamorous and the criminal, the honest and the secretive, and begins to see that perhaps she has something to learn from them all. Something to learn about herself, and something to learn about her priorities.

She knows she has to fight for justice. But, when she meets the scholarly, perceptive Neil, who generously tries to help Harriet in her mission, but who is struggling with a complicated marriage, she must also decide if she’ll fight for love, too.

My Thoughts & Review:

A Single Journey is a character drive novel that weaves together tales from differing timelines. The book opens in 1933 with Elena and her mother fleeing Paris, fearing the dangerous Russians who had already killed her father, before moving to modern day London where readers meet Harriet.

Elena from the epilogue became an old woman that delighted and entertained the customers at Harriet’s jewellery stall, helping to turn curious glances at pieces into sales, or making sure that prices left Harriet a little room for profit. Elena’s tales from her Russian childhood often making for a fascinating back story on a piece of jewellery for sale.  Sadly, it’s only upon Elena’s death that Harriet finds out more about this woman she knew of as her landlord and friend, not realising just how much she had meant to her.
Harriet inherits Elena’s estate which is a huge surprise for her and those around her, but Elena’s family in Berlin are not happy about this turn of events and soon take matters to court, forcing Harriet to give up the inheritance.
Picking up the pieces of her life after this humiliation, Harriet heads off to Berlin, chasing a mystery. And what she discovers changes how she sees things, her determination to see justice done and do the right thing leads her out of her comfort zone but it makes for an interesting read.

The historical details woven throughout the tales certainly make this quite an intriguing read and I have to admit to being fascinated by some of the things I read. The harrowing
events make for compelling reading.
Well defined characters really help readers get a good grasp on the plot, and whilst there are numerous characters, the author has taken the time to ensure that they stand out to the reader. You get a good feel for the personalities that are part of this book, which I think makes this such an enthralling read.
Pace wise, I would say that this is more of a “slow burn” type read, but it works well with the mystery element of the plot.

You can buy a copy of A Single Journey via Amazon UK

 

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