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"If history lessons had been this entertaining, I would have scored an A+!." -Andrene Low, author of the Excess Baggage series
"This story is one for devotees of adventurous historical fiction and tales of plucky young women finding their feet." -Stephanie Jones, CoastFM Book Reviewer
"I think the author has done a commendable job in bringing the story to life and it's obvious that she has used extensive historical research to ensure that the story always feels authentic and that's not an easy feat to pull off." -JaffaReadsToo, Book Blogger
About the Author
For many years Kirsten McKenzie worked in her family's antique store, where she went from being allowed to sell the 50c postcards in the corner of Antique Alley as a child, to selling $5,000 Worcester vases and seventeenth century silverware, providing a unique insight into the world of antiques which touches every aspect of her writing.
Now a full time author, her historical fiction novel, Fifteen Postcards, was published in May 2015, with its sequel The Last Letter released in November 2016. Her books have been described as Time Travellers Wife meets The Far Pavilions with a dash of Antiques Roadshow.
Her horror novel, Painted, is scheduled for release in June 2017.
She lives in New Zealand with her husband, daughters, and her SPCA rescue cat, and can be found procrastinating on Twitter.
With the effortless skill of an accomplished storyteller, Kirsten lures us into this fascinating novel piling mystery on mystery, surprize on surprize, peril on peril, each deeper and more irresistible than the last. Her settings are so well researched that with just a few words she transports us from the grand staircase of a renowned auction house to the magical treasures of an old antique shop… back in time to an encounter with Gilbert and Sullivan, or across the ocean to the rubies and silks of the Indian Raj. Her characters are so cleverly observed, and portrayed with such slight of hand that we imagine we know them ourselves, becoming irritated at their foibles, allured by their dashing looks, enchanted by their grace and elegance, and swept away by their courage and fire. Now utterly immersed, pages turn as if by themselves, and one reads long after lights out, missing meals and even appointments, until that wonderful - and awful - moment when the last page is reached. After completing this original, enjoyable and unpredictable novel, the only thing one can then do is to urgently search Amazon for this captivating novelist's next treasure!
Kirsten McKenzie’s Fifteen Postcards. Ever wonder what happens to people who just disappear, leaving no trace, never to be heard from again? Or do you ever stand outside your door on a town side-street and wonder, what was it like here, in this exact spot, one hundred years ago? Are you fascinated by the way family intertwines through time, with questions like Who’s child is that? and did you know such-and-such was that persons great-great grandfather? If you are intrigued by those issues, you should read Kirsten McKenzie’s novel, Fifteen Postcards, for one possible, incredible, intriguing explanation. Present day London-based Sarah Lester, a ‘gifted procrastinator, who cries in movies and even emotionally poignant commercials’ but is ‘unafraid of spiders or tigers, or madmen and monsters’, has prematurely inherited her parent's antique shop, the Old Curiosity Shop, for a very particular reason. They have both disappeared, her mother first, then her father, without a trace. Sarah is determined to keep the shop going. From having run a stationary shop, this reviewer can vouch for the fact that the author knows small off beat shops and the people who frequent them. Those who want to purchase, but don’t have the money; those who want to chat. All sorts come into stationary shops and, it seems, antique shops. One day she receives a call to clear out an old estate, and Sarah’s whole life changes. She is one step closer to understanding what happened to her parents. The book is structured on fifteen pillars, the fifteen postcards that are part of the goods Sarah purchases from the old Williams estate, fifteen postcards ‘in an old biscuit tin from an old estate’. Each chapter is headed with a name such as ‘The Riot’, ‘The Basement’, and so on. This is an excellent idea which is not so popular now as it was. However, what would be a great help, especially for Kindle readers, would be if they were incorporated into a Table of Contents (toc). From that point on, on touching certain objects in the shop, Sarah begins a journey backward through time and then forward again, returning to her shop in present day London. While the book starts with a cosy-read feel, this escalates during the course of the novel. Some of the places she finds herself are extremely dangerous, but also very romantic, leading in one specific case to a very amorous encounter between Sarah and that of a man whose life she saves. The historical background details are very well researched To add to the danger, she is no longer safe either in present day London, because a descendant of the deceased estate, one horrible individual called Benjamin Grey, is stalking Sarah. He has discovered that she has come into possession of valuable family heirlooms, which he claims were stolen from him. At one point, when she is transported back to present day London from Nineteenth-century New Zealand, she is followed through time by an unwitting but dangerous stalker. The author skilfully and I believe, poignantly, weaves a connection between all the people, places and objects Sarah stumbles across. The end is poignant and left this reviewer thinking ‘Wow! That is so sad and incredible’. But it couldn’t happen—or could it?
This story is a mystery and a historical race through different countries, all linked to 15 postcards.
The main character, Sarah, has taken over her parents antique shop after they have disappeared, and she buys a deceased estate. As well as the postcards there are all sorts of objects, some of which have the power to transport her through time and place, and they are linked to the former owner and her history.
The story is vividly written, both the present day and the places Sarah find herself in. I particularly enjoyed the Indian setting, but I love stories set in India. I live in New Zealand so really enjoyed the story there too.
The story and characters are skillfully joined together, and I found I was racing ahead to see what happened. It operates on several levels. There's the mystery of her parents disappearance, but also the story of the deceased estate, and the history of the descendants. And of course the mystery why she can time travel at all.
I was a little frustrated with the end, as things seemed unresolved, and then I realised there's a sequel! I'm looking forward to reading it. Highly recommended!
This book was a mixture of time travel and antiques road show gone viral. Sarah Lester's parents have gone missing one at a time from their second hand shop and now Sarah has gone missing. And she has returned only to go missing again. When she finds what causes the time travel she uses it to do just that. Couple of things that stood out. The book was long and rather bogged down with lots of good research but no real identified plot except find her parents but it was really not the focus overall. The time and lives she interacted with were. Her detail was great but sometimes the postcards were hard to see their relevance. Also, when anything physical as in accidents, etc happened to Sarah, she returned home with those impediments but once she came back with one physical issue but not the other. So it was quite enjoyable but I would have loved a short series instead with each travel one book. But if you are a history buff, you will like this.