I have loved all the books in Roseanna M. White’s Shadows Over England series and am sorry to see it end with the final novel An Hour Unspent. I was captivated by each and every one of the books that featured an unusual family of thieves and how they became an integral part of the war effort in England during WWI. I was quite eager to read Barclay’s story. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect but this book exceeded all my expectations.
Once again the mysterious “V” needed one of the family for an important assignment and Barclay was the perfect choice. Sent to assist and encourage a clockmaker who had developed a possibly important part for war planes, Barclay found himself more involved with the man’s family than he imagined, especially the independent daughter Evelina Manning.
I particularly liked how the author focused on the changes in Barclay as he sought to follow the Lord and how often scripture would reassure him when he had doubts. Evelina also grew spiritually during the course of the book and I felt that she and Barclay were a wonderful pair.
As is usually the case in White’s novels, the plot was filled with ample historical facts, drama, danger, suspense, and of course romance. I do not run across very many books set during WWI so this series was of special interest to me. It was nearly impossible for me to set down this book until I finished it in record time. I do love getting my history lessons in such a delightful form.
As I stated above, I really hate to see this series end but I have heard rumors that a new series will feature some characters who had a role in Shadows Over England and readers might actually have a chance to catch up with their favorite characters. I can’t wait!
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by the author and Bethany House. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
With Danger Creeping Ever Closer,
Do Their Dreams Still Matter?
Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.
Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.
As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.
Series: Shadows Over England (Book 3)
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 4, 2018)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
When Big Ben Joined the Skyline:
When the design for A Name Unknown, book 1 in the Shadows Over England Series, was shown to me and I saw the spine for the first time, I was so excited to see the series logo they’d come up with. Big Ben’s clock tower.
Big Ben says London. Which is what the designers were no doubt trying to invoke, as my family of thieves are firmly Londoners. But for me, it was more than that. Because in the third book of the series, An Hour Unspent, that iconic clock actually plays a role in the story.
For starters, a bit of naming. Most of us think of “Big Ben” as the clock, but it’s technically not. Big Ben is actually the bell. The clock is the Great Westminster Clock, though over the years the name Big Ben has come to be associated with the entire structure. So now that we’ve got that straight… ?
The clock tower was designed by Augustus Pugin and completed in 1859. Pugin was an architect, one who is most remembered for redesigning the interior of Westminster Palace and the tower in question, which has become one of the most iconic symbols of England. Though he also designed the face of the clock, the mechanics of the thing he wisely handed over to someone else.
But interestingly, the movement–the gears and weights that make a clock work, and in this case, work with amazing reliability–was actually designed by two amateurs to the field. Edmund Denison, a lawyer, and mathematician George Airy. The construction was the only part undertaken by an actual clockmaker, Edward Dent.
The Great Clock’s inner workings are so precise that a penny sitting on the pendulum is all it takes to make slight alterations to the time. That one little coin will make an adjustment of nearly half a second a day. That doesn’t sound like much, but it allows for small incremental adjustments to keep the clock accurate year after year. The pendulum still has a stack of old coins on it, and the clock is still hand-wound three times a week
In my story, I gave the job of upkeep of the Great Clock to my heroine’s father, a clock maker. This part is purely fictional, of course, but it would have been considered a great honor to be tasked with such a responsibility, and in my story that’s the proof of Cecil Manning’s proficiency in his trade, even though he’s by no means made himself rich.
That honor goes to another historical figure that my fictional Manning claims as a friend, who revolutionized the timekeeping world. But you’ll have to check out An Hour Unspent: Companion Guide to learn more about that…
Giveaways & Contest:
Roseanna has several giveaways and a special CONTEST for her readers! Click on the images below to learn more about each Giveaway. Or visit Roseanna’s blog.