- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Berkley (January 3, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451472101
- ISBN-13: 978-0451472106
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Echo of Twilight Paperback – January 3, 2017
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Praise for the Novels of Judith Kinghorn
“A gripping tale of family secrets and a comedy of manners...Historical fiction fans will not want to miss this gem!”—Renee Rosen, author of White Collar Girl
“An absolutely delicious book…Elegant and evocative to the last word.”—Elizabeth Cooke, author of The Gates of Rutherford
“Lucinda Riley’s readers will enjoy Kinghorn’s manipulation of the story’s timeline, fans of Sarah Jio will adore the novel’s romantic backbone, and historical-fiction readers will appreciate Kinghorn’s eye for authentic period details.”—Booklist
“Kinghorn vividly depicts the turmoil of the postwar period...Those who love the blockbuster show Downton Abbey will find much to enjoy.”—Historical Novel Society
“A touching, thought-provoking and compelling read. Kinghorn evokes the years before the war as she skillfully envelops the reader in her imaginative, tragic tale.”—RT Book Reviews (4½ stars)
About the Author
Judith Kinghorn is the author of four novels: The Echo of Twilight, The Snow Globe, The Memory of Lost Senses, and The Last Summer. She was born in Northumberland, educated in the Lake District, and is a graduate in English and History of Art. She lives in Hampshire, England, with her husband and two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's the start of a new life for Pearl, and she has no idea just how much change this position, this particular lady, and the war will bring into her life. We see the strains and cracks already appearing in the old class system, and the hard rock it runs into with the war and all its death and destruction. But this is also a deeply romantic story. Pearl works out an unexpected friendship with Lady Ottoline, uncovers secrets of her own past, and finds love someplace wholly unexpected.
It's a beautifully developed story, with a richness of color, texture, and feeling. The cracking of the old order, the deaths and losses of the war, alongside the gains made by some as the cracks and losses created new opportunities for some, are all painfully present. At the same time, while acknowledging the costs, this is a strong, hopeful story.
Pearl and Ottoline, and those around them, are very nicely developed as characters, and our understanding of those around Pearl grows and changes as hers does. It's engrossing and satisfying.
I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.
She soon finds that Ottoline wants a friend and confidante as well as a maid and the two become closer and closer. Starting off in the North of England they then move to Scotland for the summer - the last summer before WWI starts. Ottoline is distraught when both of her sons join up and Pearl is equally upset when Ottoline's cousin Ralph, the artist that has caught her heart, follows suit.
Staying up in Scotland events overtake both Ottoline and Pearl and they both have secrets that tie them together forever.....but can they both get through this unscathed!
A great family saga I loved the character Pearl and her longing for family and to belong somewhere, with the niggle of a name circled in a paper by her Aunt Kitty that she is sure must have significance to her past, and all ends are well tied up at the end of the book
The Echo of Twilight tells the story of ambitious ladies maid Pearl Gibson and her unconventional employer Lady Ottoline Campbell. The book begins with the world on edge anticipating the breakout of World War I. What ensues is a tale of two women whose secrets intertwine and lives are forever altered even long after the war has ended.
I was excited to read The Echo of Twilight as the cover blurb sounded like it would be right up my alley. I adore historical fiction and enjoy losing myself in another time. Judith Kinghorn definitely does a great job of creating a sense of place. I felt like I was right there with Pearl in England and Scotland. The writing style felt true to the period. However, I do think there were too many liberties taken with Ottoline’s behavior and attitudes. I seriously doubt that an aristocrat would introduce her maid to other members of the upper crust and throw a party for her like she belonged in the drawing room. Unconventionality aside, this rang completely false.
We are introduced to a handful of endearing characters. Pearl is relatable and a reliable narrator. I truly felt her loneliness and pain in wanting someplace to belong. I did not get her borderline obsession with not growing up to be like her mother. Had she actually known her mother I would have understood better. I found Ottoline and her motivations fascinating and an interesting portrayal of someone caught in a life where she does not quite fit in. Suffering from depression, anxiety, boredom, and loneliness, her thoughts and actions kept me reading. Ottoline’s cousin Ralph played in integral role in the story, and he was appealing. Though not featured much, Ottoline’s sensitive son Billy was one of my favorite characters. I wish he had played a bigger role. Butler Rodney Watts and cook Mrs. Lister added some much needed humanity to the “downstairs” life.
The book was very much about love in all forms – friendship, romantic, familial, especially maternal. Romance is where this book failed for me. Ralph and Pearl’s initial meeting (and her birthday party) provided a nice initial spark between the two, but as things progressed, I did not feel any chemistry between them and their relationship was unconvincing. The most compelling thing about the story was Pearl and Ottoline’s complicated and ever evolving relationship. The war and its repercussions were constant companions to all of the characters. There was great emphasis placed on how the war took its toll on everyone, the changing roles for women, and the blurring of the lines between society stations. All of these things helped give the story some bulk and move it along. However, the pace was never quick and became even more sluggish in the section set after the war. Also, I found the ending wrapped up a little too tidily.
Overall, The Echo of Twilight was worth reading. I recommend it to fans of World War I historical fiction.