By Tracy Rees
Published by Quercus (30 June 2016)
Florrie Buckley is an orphan, living on the wind-blasted moors of Cornwall. It's a hard existence but Florrie is content; she runs wild in the mysterious landscape. She thinks her destiny is set in stone. But when Florrie is fifteen, she inherits a never-imagined secret. She is related to a wealthy and notorious London family, the Graces. Overnight, Florrie's life changes and she moves from country to city, from poverty to wealth. Cut off from everyone she has ever known, Florrie struggles to learn the rules of this strange new world. And then she must try to fathom her destructive pull towards the enigmatic and troubled Turlington Grace, a man with many dark secrets of his own.
I really enjoyed Tracy Rees' first book Amy Snow, so was delighted when I fell in love with Florence Grace too, as I did have high expectations.
Florence Grace is page-turning historical fiction. It's the story of a young girl who is plucked from the remote Cornwall moors to discover she is part of a wealthy London family. Not all of her new relatives welcome her into the fold, however, and Florrie has a lot to learn about life in a city - and about large families.
Tracy Rees has captured the settings of Cornwall and London beautifully, with her vivid descriptive writing. Her dialogue is very realistic, as it was in Amy Snow, which makes the characters themselves feel very real and in keeping with the book's time period. Florence Grace is definitely a character-led novel, focusing on how the characters interact and respond to one another - in a family that should be close knit but isn't, thanks to its many lies, secrets and conflicts. Florrie is definitely the star of the show and it was interesting to see how she grew and flourished throughout the book.
Florence Grace is a story of belonging, destiny, secrets and courage. It was very easy to immerse myself in this emotional story and I read most of the book in one sitting. This is certainly a book I'll be recommending.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher through the Lovereading panel in exchange for an honest review.