‘Blackberry and Wild Rose’ by Sonia Velton

It’s been a while since the last time I read historical fiction, and I love them, so I decided ‘Blackberry and Wild Rose’ was going to be my next read. And I loved it! This is a wonderful and promising debut novel, and I loved the journey to another time, another place. Oh, I’d missed time-traveling by books so much! It’s good to be back.

This time, in 18th century London.

I got this book from Quercus and NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. It’s available to the public from tomorrow, 10th January, 2019. (It’s the publication day of the UK edition and the Kindle format. The US hardcover will come out in May.)



I don’t know which one appealed to me first: the title or the cover. I know both got my attention before I read the description, and I think it was more than 50% of my decision to read it. The ultimate thing that convinced me that I need this book in my life was that the NetGalley description recommended it to fans of Tracy Chevalier, and I loved the books I’ve read written by her, so I simply had to download it!


Have you ever simply loved a book BECAUSE you basically hated all the characters?

I know it sounds wrong. I should maybe say ‘disliked’ instead of ‘hated’. Some I disliked strongly, some I even liked at times – but no character in this book was the kind of people I like.

And that’s exactly what I loved about them!

Because they were… human. And humans act like they did. We are flawed, fallible, infuriating at times. People are the way these characters were written. They were realistic. Natural. I loved that they didn’t act like characters in a book. They acted the way real people would do.

That being said, I honestly enjoyed this book. At first, at least part of the plot seemed to be too predictable, but I liked the way the story turned out in the second part of the book. The story, too, just like the characters, happened to be more realistic than I expected. It touched me. I also found the choice of time, place and topic interesting: I’ve never once given a thought to silk weavers of London in the 18th century before, but now I’m interested!

I also liked the way this book was written, it was nicely worded and many times beautiful, it made me feel things, the only thing I feel was not that good is that the difference between the styles of Esther and Sara, the two main characters (coming from very different places regarding both place and social situation) was non-existent. I thought they could write and speak very differently.

Let’s Give It a Grade!

  1. Story: 5/5
  2. Characters: 5/5
  3. Style: 4/5
  4. The Subjective Factor: 5/5
  • 4.75


It’s a strong historical debut that demonstrates the relations between men and women, rich and poor, master and worker, lady and servant. Thankfully it’s not that black-and-white as it sounds – we get to see the ‘grey areas’, all the people caught up in different situations. Actually, I’m impressed how many kind of people’s life and tragedies are shown in this book.

Recommend to:

If you like the kind of historical fiction Tracy Chevalier writes (yes, I agree with that recommendation), this will probably be to your liking. And if you like historical fiction in general. Or flawed characters.

Drink tip:

Gin. Maybe.

Music room:

‘Lost’ by Within Temptation


I’ll be on the watch for more Sonia Velton books!

Do you like historical fiction? If yes, what kind?

How much a cover counts when you decide to read a book? And if it does count, does it lead to a lot of disappointment, or do you find many hidden treasures?

I hope you have a great day!

Hugs πŸ™‚

23 thoughts on “‘Blackberry and Wild Rose’ by Sonia Velton

  1. Excellent review, Dora! I don’t often enjoy books where the characters are not likeable, but it sounds like the author here has written them in an exceptional way.
    I like historical fiction and am certainly hoping to read more of the genre soon. And the cover often draws me to a book!
    Happy reading πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊 It was a surprise for me, too. I’m sure, though, that there are readers who actually like (at least some of) these characters, they just weren’t my kind of people. I loved the way they were formed, though 😊


  2. Ohhh, that cover!!! Great review! I enjoy historical fiction, especially ones based on the US Civil War. I haven’t read any historical fiction books in ages though! Time to pick them up again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the cover and I adore cahraters that I love to hate. I think it’s harder to write a character that evoques such strong feelings rather than one we like.
    I don’t normally read much historical fiction but this looks great. Fab review.

    Liked by 1 person

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