This September, I was lucky enough to attend Fiona McIntosh’s Commercial Fiction Masterclass in Adelaide where I had the best five days of my life! To hear about my experience, follow the link to my blog post here. On the last day of class we were given Fiona’s latest book, Tapestry, to take home with us. I spent the next week reading it in between wine tasting and enjoying lots of good food in the Barossa Valley.
Plot from Goodreads:
The key to her future is trapped in the past.
In 1978, Jane Maxwell is celebrating her engagement to Will, a handsome American geophysicist, but though she should be deliriously happy, she is plagued by doubts. When tragedy leaves Will hanging between life and death, Jane’s guilt makes her determined to save him … somehow. In 1715, the Earl of Nithsdale joins the doomed Jacobite rebellion for Scottish independence. But the cause is lost and the Earl is sentenced to be beheaded. On a desperate and dangerous quest to find some answers, Jane finds herself swept away and trapped in the past. Convinced that saving Nithsdale will also save Will, Jane embarks on a daring and audacious plot to rescue the Earl from the Tower of London. Past and present become entwined in a gripping race against time – and both will be changed by one woman’s determination …Bestselling author Fiona McIntosh brings her inimitable storytelling skills to this thrilling time-slip adventure packed with action, romance and one of history’s most daring escapes.
Fiona writes historical fiction for Penguin and fantasy for HarperCollins and in Tapestry these two genres merge to form a time-slip novel about two women desperate to save the men they love. Jane Granger, the main character, is a wealthy young woman living in London in the 70s, recently engaged. However, she has doubts about the commitment she has made (perhaps too rashly) to the dashing Will Maxwell. Theirs has not been the heady romance she has read and dreamed about. But her love is put to the test when Will falls into a coma after a brutal attack and Jane must embark on an epic quest into the past to save him.
Tapestry is an exquisite tale of love, magic and adventure that shifts between the twentieth century and the early eighteenth century. Fiona effortlessly weaves past and present while keeping up a fast pace that had me eagerly turning the pages to know what happened next. Jane and Winifred Maxwell (wife of the Earl of Nithsdale) are both courageous and strong characters who take their lovers fates into their own hands. Fiona McIntosh consistently presents readers with strong heroines, women who even when constrained by the societal expectations of Georgian England, will not be quietened or put in their place. The daring escape plan Jane/Winifred devises to free her husband from the Tower of London is a clever attempt at subterfuge and a passage which is a real nail biter to the very end. What is remarkable is that Fiona had only to draw from historical records for this part of the plot.
The merging of historical fiction and fantasy was a clever gel and I found myself lost for hours following the lives of Will, Jane, Winifred and the oh-so-Darcyesque Lord Julius Sackville. Fiona writes romance incredibly well and let me assure you, the introduction of Julius will set yours and Jane’s heart both a flutter. A great read from one of Australia’s most prolific and talented writers.
9.5 out of 10 Stars