Tag Archives: Pamela Hartshorne

Friday Faceoff – Oranges and lemons…

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This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This week’s theme is fruit, so I have selected Time’s Echo by Pamela Hartshorne.

 

 

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This is the cover produced by Pan Macmillan in August 2012. The apple sitting on top of the old manuscripts is both spot on in terms of relating back to the content and providing an intriguing cover. The italic styling on the title font also works well against the weathered wooden backdrop. There is a lot going on in this apparently simple cover which nevertheless conveys a sense of the historical content of this book. This is my favourite.

 

 

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This Dutch cover, published by Van Holkema & Warendorf, in October 2012 is also beautiful. The gold-etched detailing against the bright orange is beautiful and eye-catching. It certainly is an unusual design here and would have me reaching to examine it more closely – I don’t know if Dutch covers habitually use a single, bright colour in such a manner, but it is certainly effective.

 

 

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This Italian cover, produced in March 2013 is completely different to the others and refers more to the modern strand of the story, rather than the timeslip element. I’m not sure it works all that well. The story is set in York and the landscape with the wide starry sky and blurred lighted buildings as a backdrop doesn’t convey the city to me.

 

 

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However, this French cover is a far stronger offering. Again, apparently simple – the apple hidden behind the girl’s back gives a sense of secrecy and unease. It’s clever and arresting – my only grizzle is the uninspiring font with the jarring dark pink that looks as if its been just plonked there, which lets the cover down.
Which is your favourite?

Review of EBOOK Time’s Echo by Pamela Hartshorne

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Himself recommended this book after I’d finally finished ranting about a very unsatisfactory dual narrative, historical thriller than didn’t thrill… Understandably, he was hoping to get me quietly engrossed in a really good book – but would I feel the same way about this novel?

Sometimes the past just won’t let go… York , 1575: Hawise Aske smiles at a stranger in the market, and sets in train a story of time's echoobsession and sibling jealousy, of love and hate and warped desire. Drowned as a witch, Hawise pays a high price for that smile, but for a girl like her in Elizabethan York, there is nowhere to go and nowhere to hide.

Four and a half centuries later, Grace Trewe, who has travelled the world, is trying to outrun the memories of being caught up in the Boxing Day tsunami. Her stay in York is meant to be a brief one. But in York Grace discovers that time can twist and turn in ways she never imagined. Drawn inexorably into Hawise’s life, Grace finds that this time she cannot move on. Will she too be engulfed in the power of the past?

Given that we open this book with Hawise’s drowning, we need to be immediately pulled into Grace’s narrative, or I – for one – would be rapidly putting this onto the Reject pile. But Grace is a far more cagier, elusive character than her Tudor counterpart who very much plunges into situations without weighing up the consequences. She clearly has major issues connected to her experience with the 2004 tsunami and it was an interesting to have a duel narrative with two women who are so very different. Although Grace enjoys cooking for relaxation, she isn’t remotely domesticated, whereas Hawise doesn’t really have any choice. I really enjoyed Hawise and her impulsive warm-heartedness, but one of those decisions ultimately sets her on a course that affects the rest of her life. The timeslip scenes were excellently done, where Grace’s sense of self was constantly challenged and undermined. There was a real feeling of menace as she grapples with Hawise over control of her mind and gets sucked back into her life. Hartshorne is a trained historian and her depiction of York is absolutely wonderful, with the wealth of domestic detail in Hawise’s daily routine completely natural – which is a lot harder to pull off than Hartshorne makes it look.

Seeing both women juxtaposed brought home to me just how limited women’s lives were back in Tudor times. And how dangerous it could be when women stepped outside the perceived norms at that particular time in history, when an obsession with witchcraft was at its height.

After building up such a tense, disturbing atmosphere of creepy wrongness, did Hartshorne manage to create a sufficiently satisfactory ending? Yes. And it was a relief, because I already knew that Hawise’s plotline wasn’t going to end well and by that stage I really cared for her and strongly identified with her plight. But though the circumstances of her death were terrible, the worst bit was the emotional agony she underwent – and which Hartshorne graphically depicted. So, if you’re looking for a really enjoyable, effective timeslip tale full of historical details, then go and track down this book – you won’t be sorry.
9/10