Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!
If there were ever a genre which garners my most immediate interest, it would be *Historical Fiction!* as I have a propensity of disappearing into the historic past more readily than any Contemporary setting! What fuells my desire to continue to traverse the historical passageways is the curiosity of the unknown! Of wanting to know more about the past and the persons who lived to where it never feels I have traversed far enough into History to feel as if I’ve lived enough lives to fully say I’ve gone everywhere I wish to visit!
In this particular instance, my appreciation for fashion and fashion history as well as departments stores are fully immersed into the folds of where Ms Brimble is taking us through the pattern of Women’s History where our liberation, our voice and our rights were on a collision course with the important events within History which started to re-shape how women were treated and accepted both in society and in their private lives. This is one thing which struck a chord of interest in me about her first release of this series ‘The Mistress of Pennington’s’ is how she cast such a long shadow on the rights for women against the back-drop of the department store environment! It felt like a brilliant entry point and one I was jolly excited to see executed!
In the past, I had known about aspects of this story due to my previous viewings of ‘House of Eliott’ which took place in a high fashion house in the 1920s and 1930s (BBC dramatic serial) whilst I briefly watched a few episodes of “The Paradise” but opted out of seeing it in full as I wanted to read the novel. I never had the chance to watch “Mr Selfridge” and realising the author, wanted to expound on those two releases to fill in the ‘gaps’ she perceived they had left open intrigued me evermore as there are times in my own viewings or readings, where I feel another person’s vision might fall short of where it could have gone. In this, I could relate to her desire to tell her own story and take the foundation of the others which are known to new heights of understanding.
Coincidentally, I hadn’t realised Ms Brimble was going to be a guest of #HistFicChat shortly before she would guest on my blog – however, it gave me the chance to talk to her after I had submitted my questions where I happily gained a few more insights into the series as she’s still developing how it will play out in future installments. I’ll be including a few of those tweets at the end of our conversation and I welcome all my readers and visitors to mark *Thursdays* on their calendar for meeting-up with the brilliant hostess Vivian Conroy who hosts this weekly chat @ 3p NYC & 8p UK. Happily this convo is running on a ‘Thursday’ and no, I hadn’t planned on that either! I was quite wicked thrilled noting the happenstance of my tour stop which was selected by Ms Debbie as I literally wanted to ‘jump on’ this tour to celebrate a novel I dearly look forward to reading!
Remember dear hearts, the best way to read my blog is with a cuppa of your favourite brew and a comfy chair! Don’t forget to let me know what your favourite tea, chai or cuppa java is in the comments whilst you leave your notes for Ms Brimble!
The Mistress of Pennington's
by Rachel Brimble
1910 – A compelling tale of female empowerment in Bath's leading department store. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.
Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath's premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.
Determined to break from her father's iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington's into a new decade, embracing woman's equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.
Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington's plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?
Places to find the book:
Also by this author: A Stranger in the Cove
on 1st July, 2018
Extract from ‘The Mistress of Pennington’s’ provided by the author Rachel Brimble
and is being used with permission.
Her gentle study drifted to his mouth and back again. ‘Did you love her? The woman you once worked with?’
Joseph stared, as disquiet whispered through him. ‘Why do you ask?’
‘I find it implausible that a man who holds women in such high regard has not known what it means to love one. You have been in love. I see it in your eyes. Unfortunately for you, they’re very revealing.’
He ran his gaze over her face and hair. Every sound muted. The amber glow of the few lit candles danced over her skin, turning it pearlescent. ‘I was married. To a wonderful, caring woman. A woman who worked beside my father and I every day after we were married.’
Her voice softened. ‘What happened to her?’
‘She died.’ He would tell her no more, the shame of his failure burned like acid in his chest and he quickly stood, wanting the intensity to ease, her justified scrutiny to end. ‘Will you try on a pair of gloves?’
He brushed past her and breathed deep as he approached a box of his finished gloves. Lifting a pair of soft kid, perfectly stitched and the exact green of her eyes, the pale cream stitching the colour of her skin.
When he turned and walked back to his bench, she had sat in his seat. She carefully watched his approach, her eyes unreadable.
How did you want Pennington’s to stand out amongst the crowd of department store dramas and also, strong female characters in fashion such as ‘The House of Eliot’? What influenced you the most in telling Elizabeth’s story?
Brimble responds: I am hoping the series theme of ‘Female Empowerment’ will appeal to readers – although I am writing this series over a hundred years later, there are still controversies, debates and disappointments being thrashed out all over the media today. The pioneering women who stepped out ahead of us made amazing differences, their successes should never be forgotten and that’s what I’m doing my best to highlight. Read More