Vianvi Podcast Book Review #12 by Viga Boland, Author & Book Reviewer
There are very few books that move a reader, and especially this reviewer, for more than being just a riveting story. But LIES OF GOLD by Jan Selbourne is an exception…and exceptional.
What an incredible book of historical fiction! It’s not just the romantic story of lovers who parted on bad terms and find each other again that captures the heart of anyone who has known true love. It’s not just a plot so intricate and gripping that just when you think all the twists and turns have been negotiated, you find still more curves ahead. It’s not just the mixture of evil and sinister characters, the nastiness of human trafficking in 19th century England, along with deception and murder that keeps you turning pages in a book impossible to put down. It’s all of those elements, delivered by a skilled author who fires the imagination, and whose knowledge of the craft of writing turns her book into art. That’s what Jan Selbourne has done in LIES OF GOLD, and she doesn’t take second place to any author when it comes to her ability to write an unforgettable story.
There are a lot of characters in LIES OF GOLD. In so many books, and too often, readers lose track of who’s who and who’s doing what when writers cannot handle the large casts they have created. Such is not the case with Jan Selbourne. We not only are able to keep up with everything and everybody, but we come to know all the key characters inside out. Selbourne allows their actions and words to reveal who they really are and what they are like. Too few writers have that skill even after penning many books. This is only Jan Selbourne’s second novel! Readers feel the intensity of the passion between the protagonists, Julian and Katherine, as they try to deny the love they feel for each other. Their lovemaking scenes are detailed and sensuous, rather than blatantly sexual. Likewise, the reader feels the growing love Julian feels for Katherine’s children and they for him. And along with the protagonists, we feel their revulsion toward Katherine’s abusive ex and the many ugly inhabitants that surround them at Halton Hall. Readers are swept up in this historical fiction that rivets with the tension of a psychological thriller and brings everything to a most satisfying, if surprising conclusion.
I had the honour of reviewing Jan Selbourne’s first historical fiction novel, BEHIND THE CLOUDS, a year ago and have never forgotten how much she impressed me with her writing. I was never a fan of historical fiction but Jan Selbourne has converted me. If I have any negative thoughts about Jan Selbourne it’s that she isn’t famous. She deserves to have thousands of people lining up to buy LIES OF GOLD. Make sure you are one of those who do.
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