"She noticed as if in a dream, a single diamond hair comb fall to the floor. The sparkling jewels landed face down in the mud." Annabel Maria Hoddington is the epitome of high society. She has everything money can buy and as befits a lady of her station, is engaged to the richest bachelor in England. However, on the day of her eighteenth birthday - her perfect future on the brink of fulfilment - she is abducted and held hostage in an isolated village, where she finds herself entrapped in the harsh world of poverty. Forced to live amongst three mentally scarred siblings, she must adapt to her new, sinister world...or die.
By Megan on June 21, 2015
I really loved this book. Annabel, a high class girl living in the Victorian times, is kidnapped and forced to live a harsh live in poverty by her kidnappers. It was a story that gripped me from the beginning and I couldn't stop reading at times. The beginning of the story sure hits you with a punch and from then on, I just want to read what would happen with Annabel next.
Annabel's character changes from this spoiled, wealthy girl to a woman that is selfless and caring for those in need. I loved her transformation. Instead of a girl only thinking about herself, she cares for the children of the man she is kidnapped by, and they all depend on each other for survival. I enjoyed that despite her challenges with her captors, she could still find it in her heart to love someone. And the rest of the characters really grew on me as well. Billy - the stable boy who watched over the horses - is so caring of others and comforts Annabel right from the beginning. And Patsy was so protective and caring over her brothers.
The story was easy to follow. I found myself reading chapter after chapter, telling myself "just one more chapter" and then it's like two hours later. I don't want to give much of the plot away, but I can say it's intense at times. As for other reviewers not thinking many of the historical references were quite accurate, I couldn't really tell myself. I don't read many historical novels, but I truly enjoyed this one. I will be looking out for more by this author.
Recommended for those that enjoy coming of age novels with historical romance thrown in.
Where you can find Diamonds Fall:
Where you can find Rebecca:
Interview with Rebecca:
1. Tell me about your books and why you decided to write them.
Wow...where to begin? I tend to write quite emotive stories, drifting onto the darker side of emotion. I have a psychology degree so I love exploring a character's mind and seeing how they handle various situations.
My most emotive novel is probably 'Rubies Fall' which is set in the First World War and follows Gray, a rich gentleman with romanticised ideas of adventure, as he is thrown into the horror of the trenches. I'm really proud of that novel and just hope everyone else loves it as much as I do. I am incredibly interested in the First World War so I'm praying it does the experiences of all the men who fought justice.
My debut novel 'Diamonds Fall', the prequel to 'Rubies Fall', follows Annabel Hoddington. Annabel is a rich and spoilt society lady who gets kidnapped and held hostage in a small village. Without her trusty material objects, she must learn about the simple pleasures of life, like friendship and love, in the hope of eventually finding her way home. I wrote 'Diamonds Fall' when I was out with a friend, walking in the forest by my house. The characters quite literally fell into my head. The rest, as they say, is history.
2. What are your goals as a writer?
My main goal as a writer would be to touch someone with the words I've written and the characters I've created. I want people to feel something when they read my stories that maybe they didn't feel before. I want people to stay awake thinking 'what if?'. Basically, the reactions I have always had to my favorite authors, I would love for other people to have about my books.
Personally, I would also love to keep evolving, keep improving and eventually end up in a physical bookstore!! I want to write in many different genres and create a variety of different characters to keep everyone on their toes!
3. Who are your favorite authors and why?
My absolute, all time favorite writer is Wilfred Owen. He is a poet who served as an officer in the First World War. His poetry and the letters he wrote during the war are phenomenal. They are a fantastic portrayal of what the war was really like and how it touched people in so many different ways. His poems are not only beautiful but they spoke the truth in a time full of so much pain. If you haven't heard of him (and why not?) go check him out now! I'm also, obviously, a massive fan of JK Rowling, Harry Potter was the narrative to my entire childhood so that will always be close to my heart. I won't go into all my favorite books right now because this would turn into a novel all by itself but I'll pretty much read anything!!
4. Where would you go on your dream vacation and who would you bring with you?
Ohh interesting question. My dream holiday....this is hard seen as though 90% of the items on my bucket list consist of travelling. My best friend lives in Australia so I would love to go there again and see her, which I am saving up for now but it's going to take a while. I would also love to explore the corners of Europe in much more detail - Ypres, Bordeaux, Barcelona, Rome...the list is endless. Although, you can never beat a white sandy beach and a turquoise ocean. I think, in answer to your question, I would go anywhere and everywhere with anyone who'd like to come!
5. What would you like your readers to know about you?
That I love them all for reading my books. I love hearing from my readers, talking to them about their favourite chapters or where they think the characters will go. Look me up, send me a message, I don't bite! Speaking to my readers about the way my books made them feel is the reason I do what I do. A writer is nothing without someone to read her words!
6. If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?
Never give up on your dreams. It's cliche but it's true. I've had countless people tell me I dream too big. People love to say you can't do something because they're too scared to try themselves. Yes, a spot in a bookstore, a movie deal, a following of devoted fans, they're all far fetched but they have to happen to someone. Why not me? Why not you?