Review by Carol Preston
‘Folly’ by D.J. Blackmore is the first book in quite a while that I haven’t been able to put down. Set in the 1820s, in Newcastle, NSW, this story is positioned at a perfect time and place to explore some of Australia’s early history, especially that related to the struggle of those who, having once been convicts, are trying to find their place as free Australians.
I was delighted to follow once more the story of Emma and Tobias, whose romance began in Deirdre’s earlier book, Charter to Redemption. While it is not necessary to have read the earlier novel to enjoy this new one, it certainly gives a great background for this story and these were two characters I felt I already knew and loved.
Their continuing journey is absorbing and touching, their romance threatened and thwarted and yet steadfast, the challenges they face frightening and very real. The story has a great diversity of characters; from the innocent, endearing child to the vilest of offenders, authority figures with the greatest of integrity to the most self-serving and corrupt, neighbours we would all hope to have through to those whose bitterness and prejudice is galling, characters who were so steeped in their past they were never going to change and others who were moved to growth and maturity. All of these I found believable and well developed, consistently portrayed.
While the story is in no way ‘preachy’, Parson Brown and his wife are wonderful representatives of God in their faithful friendship, love and acceptance and a powerful witness to the benefits of honouring God in one’s life.
The story moves at a good pace, keeping me turning the pages without revealing so much that the mystery and suspense were too soon revealed or solved. For readers who love romance, history, mystery and crime, it’s all here in this great story which I highly recommend. I’ll certainly be on the lookout for Deirdre’s next novel.
About FollyIt is 1822. The colony bells of Newcastle chime for a wedding but Emma Colchester is uneasy. Her cousin is nowhere to be found. A red satin ribbon unearths the truth, and the family face their worst fears. Fingers of blame are pointed too close to home and Emma's future with Tobias threatens to unravel. The walls of The Folly standing by The Hunter River hold the clue, and Emma risks everything in finding out the truth.
About Carol Preston
Carol writes historical novels based on her family ancestry in Australia from the First Fleet. They include the Turning the Tide series; Mary’s Guardian, Charlotte’s Angel, Tangled Secrets and Truly Free. Two of her earlier novels, Suzannah’s Gold and Rebecca’s Dream, were re-released by EBP. Next of Kin was released in 2015 by Rhiza Press and the sequel, Beyond the Fight, was released in 2016. Most recently, with the help of Book Whispers, Carol has re-released Price of Peace, the third novel in the Oakes Family Saga which includes Suzannah’s Gold and Rebecca’s Dream. You can see more about Carol and her novels on her website, her Amazon author page or FB author page.