Welcome to my blog on my day of the These Lost & Broken Things blog tour – thanks to Kelly for the invite on the tour, as well as Wailing Banshee Ltd for providing an electronic copy to read in preparation of the tour! This novel is Helen’s first dive into historical fiction and it is exceptional. Published on the 16th of January, you can purchase yourself a copy in a variety of formats here.
An international and Amazon #1 best-selling author, Helen is a former criminal and family law barrister. Every book in the Callanach series claimed an Amazon #1 bestseller flag. Her next book, the sixth in the series, ‘Perfect Kill’ is due out on 6 February 2020. Helen also writes as HS Chandler, and last year released legal thriller ‘Degrees of Guilt’. Her previous audio book ‘Perfect Crime’ knocked Michelle Obama off the #1 spot. Translated into 15 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen’s books have won global recognition. Her first historical thriller ‘These Lost & Broken Things’ comes out in May 2020. A further standalone thriller published by HarperColllins will come soon. She currently commutes between Hampshire, Scotland and California, where she lives with her husband and three children. Helen can be found on Twitter @Helen_Fields for up to date news and information or at www.helenfields.co.uk.
I can sometimes be a bit picky when it comes to a historical fiction novel, but reading Helen’s crime fiction series, I knew that I loved her writing and would do so whatever era she wrote her books from. These Lost & Broken Things is written from a historical time frame between 1891 to 1905, spanning between Sofia’s childhood and adulthood. We are introduced to Sofia during her childhood, during quite a traumatic event that was set to develop her as the adult she was to become. It is apparent that she is troubled with an addicting affliction that in consequence sets her own future ahead of her. As an adult, we are introduced to Sofia during another traumatic life experience – where she has become a widowed during a time when a woman is not taken seriously as an independent entity from a man. These Lost & Broken Things is a novel about survival, not only within the times that Sofia lives but also surviving herself and the personal demons that she carries beneath the surface.
As I’ve already told you, our protagonist is widowed, mother of two, Sofia who is thrown into a situation that could potentially leave her and her children on the verge of homeless poverty. Having previously depended on her late husband, Sofia has no other choice than to try and find work. This situation adds to the atmosphere of the 1900’s, the unfair life that women are expected to lead without the support of a husband – the difficulty to find financial support in form of jobs etc. This era was unequal and you can’t help but pity Sofia. Helen uses the emotion of grief and loss to lull you further into the storyline, you become invested in the characters lives and you become emotionally captivated. With minimal options, Sofia allows herself to be caught up in a deadly web of lies, blackmail and murder as she begins to snowball into a dire oblivion of actions that set her fate. The contrasting timeline begins to open the story further, while unravelling the subsequent turn of events.
The visualisation that flowed constantly throughout the books allowed me to escape onto the streets of London. I felt the desperation, death and danger present on the streets – how survival and poverty is a faded line in the sand. How far would you go to keep you and your family off the streets? Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed being transported to the streets of London during this era, I loved the development of the story with its undercurrent of darkness with it’s surface domesticity. Helen clearly delved into the research, she got the feel, language and visuals spot on, I look forward to more historical fictional journeys with Helen!
Thanks again to Kelly for having me on-board the tour for These Lost and Broken Things, I adoringly devoured it!
Until next time,