Book Review of The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley

Book Review: The Vanished Days

Today I’m on the book blog tour to share my book review of The Vanished Days. This is the latest historical fiction novel from bestselling author Susanna Kearsley, published on the 28th April 2022.

Last Autumn we spent 6 fabulous weeks touring the Scottish coast NC500 route in our motorhome. During our road trip we visited the Culloden Battlefield where we learned about the Jacobite Revolution.

So I was delighted when Anne @randomttours invited me to book review The Vanished Days, which is set during these times.

Where Are We Touring To?

For this historical fiction story we are transported back to the 1700s in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Before I share my book review of The Vanished Days, here’s the background to this story.


Book Cover Notes

A sweeping love story set against the Jacobite revolution from much-loved, million copy bestselling author Susanna Kearsley.

There are many who believe they know what happened, but they do not know the whole of it. The rumours spread, and grow, and take their hold, and so to end them I have been persuaded now to take my pen in hand and tell the story as it should be told…

Autumn, 1707. Old enemies from the Highlands to the Borders are finding common ground as they join to protest the new Union with England, the French are preparing to launch an invasion to carry the young exiled Jacobite king back to Scotland to reclaim his throne, and in Edinburgh the streets are filled with discontent and danger.

Queen Anne’s commissioners, seeking to calm the situation, have begun settling the losses and wages owed to those Scots who took part in the disastrous Darien expedition eight years earlier.

When Lily, the young widow of a Darien sailor, comes forward to collect her husband’s wages, her claim is challenged, and one of the men who’s assigned to examine her has only days to decide if she’s honest, or if his own feelings are making him blind to the truth, and if he’s being used as a pawn in an even more treacherous game.

A story of intrigue, adventure, endurance, romance…and the courage to hope.

Blog Tour Poster - Book Review The Vanished Days
Blog Tour – Touring Tales stop on 29th April 2022

My Thoughts

One of the benefits of becoming a book blogger is that I’ve explored reading across more book genres. For instance, since becoming a book blogger I have discovered a love of historical fiction novels. I’d never read these types of book before but now I can’t get enough of them. 🙂

The Vanished Days is narrated by Sergeant Adam Williamson and has a dual timeline, starting in 1683 and 1707. The timeline isn’t too far apart so I liked how the story developed with interesting twists and turns between these two timelines.

Adam has been commissioned to investigate, and find evidence, that Lily Graeme (nee Aitcheson) married James Graeme. If proved, Lily would be entitled to claim widow compensation following the death of James at sea during military service. There are no living witnesses to their marriage. Adam and Gilroy, a clerk for the Scottish funding commission, find themselves on an intriguing trail to find the truth.

Lily is a very likeable character whose childhood is fraught with tragedy and upheaval. I was rooting for Lily as I read her childhood story and the circumstances that led her to Edinburgh. Living with an ‘unconventional’ family had its problems. But she was cared for and taught writing skills that proved very useful throughout her life!

There’s quite a large cast of characters throughout this book. The story is based around the Graeme and Moray families. Thankfully, the author has included a family tree at the beginning of the book. I found this useful to refer to as I was reading. A glossary of Scottish terms might have been useful too for non-Scots like me. But I soon got the hang of reading ‘Ye’ and ‘Ken’ and other old Scottish sayings once I’d worked out what they meant. 🙂

Throughout the book it is clear that the author has gone to great lengths in her research. Real historical events of conflict, invasion and battle strategies have been cleverly woven into this fictional tale. I loved the scenes described at the harbour. Tall ships and the sailors scrabbling about on deck making preparations to sail on their next adventure. I wanted to climb on board one of those boats and join them as they headed out to sea. The author’s writing is so in depth you get a real sense of what it must have been like to live during those times.

Reader tip: Don’t miss the authors notes at the end of the book. I love it when authors share the research that inspired their writing. It’s fascinating to learn what is historical fact and what is actually fiction once the story has been told.

Summary

A fascinating read full of historical insights into Scottish life in the 1700s.

This is an enthralling story of family, loyalty and friendship and ultimately a romantic love story.


Where To Buy

Amazon | Book Depository

Further book info

  • Publication date: 28 April 2022
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
  • Page count: 544

About The Author

Author Photo Susanna Kearsley
Author Susanna Kearsley

New York Times bestselling author Susanna Kearsley is a former museum curator. She loves restoring the lost voices of real people to the page. Interweaving romance and historical intrigue with modern adventure.

Over 1.5 million copies of her books have been sold and have been translated into over 25 languages. Her writing career began in 1993 when her then-unpublished novel Mariana won the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize. Since then she has written twelve novels and won various awards. The author has twice made the final of Romantic Novel of the Year awards. She lives near Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Where To Find Susanna Online

Website | Twitter | Instagram


Blog Tour Organised by

Random Things Tours

Many thanks to Anne @randomttours for inviting me on the book blog tour to share my book review of The Vanished Days. Thanks also to the author and Simon & Schuster UK for my copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.


Susanna’s Other Books

I hope you’ve enjoyed my book review of The Vanished Days and it has inspired you to buy the book. Before you head to the check-out don’t miss the other best-selling books from this author:

Book Cover The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

The Winter Sea

1707 – An ill-fated expedition for the New World left Sophia Paterson an orphan, cared for by her uncle. On his passing, a distant relative offers what Sophia longs for most: a home. Slains Castle, on the rugged Scottish coast, is much more comfortable than she is accustomed to. But danger is right around the corner, as rebels conspire to bring the exiled James Stewart to Scotland to reclaim his crown.

Belleweather

Secrets aren’t such easy things to keep: It’s late summer in 1759, war is raging, and families are torn apart by divided loyalties and deadly secrets. In this complex and dangerous time, a young French-Canadian lieutenant is captured and billeted with a Long Island family, an unwilling and unwelcome guest.

See all Susanna Kearsley Books on Amazon


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Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed my book review of The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley. You might also like these historical fiction book reviews including:

Or for more reading inspiration , check out these pages on Touring Tales Books:


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