I’m delighted to join the blog tour for The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst today! My thanks to Kirsty Doole at Atlantic for the invitation to join and for the beautiful review copy!
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
On the 15th day of December in the year of our Lord 1664, a great light bloomed in the dark sky and crept slowly and silently across the blackness: a comet. Every evening afterwards, though snow lay on the ground and the air bit with frost, men across the land threw open their windows and went out of their doors in cloaks and mufflers to gaze at the heavens, necks stretched up, hands shielding eyes, crooking long fingers to trace the burning thing that flamed across the night, while dogs moaned in their kennels and wise women chanted incantations against bright malignant spirits.
Born on the night of an ill-auguring comet just before Charles II’s Restoration, Ursula Flight has a difficult future written in the stars. Against the custom of the age she begins an education with her father, who fosters in her a love of reading, writing and astrology.
Following a surprising meeting with an actress, Ursula’s dreams turn to the theatre and thus begins her quest to become a playwright despite scoundrels, bounders, bad luck and heartbreak.
| MY THOUGHTS |
December 15th, 1664. The dark night is lit up by a comet, something that wasn’t particularly seen as a good omen in those days. While this comet travels along, Ursula Flight is born and this is how her story starts and the reader is taken on the most delightful journey through her life.
Ursula is one of those characters you just fall in love with the second you meet her. Born into a well to-do family, she’s fun, fierce, determined, inquisitive, imaginative, wise for her age and for the times. She’s most definitely someone to sympathise with and root for. Despite the fact her father, against the custom of the age, begins educating her, life in those days was quite preordained. Ursula will have to marry, willing or not, and all her hopes and dreams might just be crushed.
I found The Illumination of Ursula Flight a most remarkably refreshing and enchanting story. It is exquisitely written, full of complex and intriguing characters and often quite humorous. Ursula’s love for all things theatre shines through via chapters from her diary and plays she’s written during the good times from her childhood but also the hardships she faces later on on in life. I was worried these would put me off but ended up truly enjoying them and found they added just that little bit extra and an even greater insight into the kind of person Ursula is.
I do so love historical fiction and this novel was brilliantly written. It kept me captivated for hours. Maybe some things are a little predictable and maybe some readers might find the story takes a while to pick up but for me, I found myself so immersed that I wondered where the time and the pages had gone. I couldn’t have picked a better novel to kickstart the new year with. Ursula utterly captured my heart and I thoroughly enjoyed going on this journey with her. I loved it so much that it may just be a novel I’ll pick up again some time.
Well researched and hugely entertaining, The Illumination of Ursula Flight is an impressive debut by Anna-Marie Crowhurst and I very much look forward to reading more by her in future.
The Illumination of Ursula Flight is available to buy!
| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |
ANNA-MARIE CROWHURST has worked as a freelance journalist and columnist for more than 15 years, contributing to The Times, The Guardian, Time Out, Newsweek, Emerald Street and Stylist. In 2016 she studied for an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, where her debut novel The Illumination of Ursula Flight was born. She lives in London.
Author links : Twitter