The Forgotten Sister by Nicola Cornick
Updated: May 16
Published : 30th April 2020
Publisher : HQ
Format : Kindle, Paperback, Audio
Genre : Historical Fiction
One woman’s secret will shape another’s destiny…
1560: Amy Robsart is trapped in a loveless marriage to Robert Dudley, a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Surrounded by enemies and with nowhere left to turn, Amy hatches a desperate scheme to escape – one with devastating consequences that will echo through the centuries…
Present Day: When Lizzie Kingdom is forced to withdraw from the public eye in a blaze of scandal, it seems her life is over. But she’s about to encounter a young man, Johnny Robsart, whose fate will interlace with hers in the most unexpected of ways. For Johnny is certain that Lizzie is linked to a terrible secret dating back to Tudor times. If Lizzie is brave enough to go in search of the truth, then what she discovers will change the course of their lives forever.
Thank you HQ for this beautiful, atmospheric and compelling story that takes you seamlessly back and fourth through time in a story that is full of secrets, mystery and that is woven deeply around family, love and betrayal.
The story starts with a prologue, its 1752 and the spirit of Amy Robsart is running from white priests each with golden crucifix that wish to trap her spirit forever into a dark pool, but what they do not know is that from her death a curse was born, one that will ripple down through centuries causing the same grief, despair and loss until someone breaks it. Amy knows who that must be. Elizabeth I.
The story then jumps to 2010, where Lizzie is attending her best friend Dudley's wedding to Amelia Robsart. Lizzie is a minor celebrity who was pushed into stardom by her fame hungry father. She lost her mother at a young age and now that she is old enough she has nothing to do with her dad anymore, the only person she is close to her child hood friend Dudley.
Lizzie doesn't really like Amelia and she is aware that Dudley spends quite a lot of time with her then his wife to be but this doesn't bother her as she considers Amelia a letch and only out for Dudley's fame.
As Lizzie stands in the large foyer of the reception, the bride has run off crying as the groom has jumped into the pool drunk surrounded by friends, she is drawn to the sound of a harp, she cannot see it, instead she is drawn to a crystal ball on a mantel that is cupped in a pair of angel wings. Knowing that when she touches things she can sense the past she is mindful to keep her hands to herself and is shocked to find Amelias little brother behind her asking what it is she can see when she looks at it. Lizzie pretends she doesn't know what he means and says nothing and the boy is taken away but soon the temptation is too much and she reaches out to grasp the ball. Instantly she sees Amila in an antiques shop looking at the crystal ball and deciding she will buy it but before she can see any more everything goes black and she is suddenly surrounded by people on the floor and the crystal ball is shattered around her.
You then jump back too 1549 to a young Amy who is being told she is to meet Robert Dudley at dinner that evening and he is to be a potential suitor, this is the beginning of Amy and Roberts relationship and it isn't long before they are married, just like history tells us Elizabeth I is Roberts childhood friend and on Amy's wedding day she realises that Elizabeth may be more then just a friend to her husband and that in fact the man who she has just married thinks and wants a lot more of the princess then her friendship.
Back in the present its now ten years on and Lizzie finds out that Amelia, Dudley's wife has died suddenly at the old manor that they was living in, she is under suspicion as her and Dudley are so close and lizzie has to stay away from her friend if she is to save her career but when she is approached by Jonathan, Amelias younger brother and the little boy Lizzie bumped into all those years ago she soon starts to realise she isn't the only one with a gift of seeing the past and that Jonathan is convinced that Lizzie can help bring his sister back, and that a curse links them all together...
The story jumps back and forth through time with every chapter, slowly piecing together a tragic story and the further in you read the more you realise that what started with Amy Robsart, her failed marriage to Robert Dudley and his obsession with Elizabeth I leads ultimately to her death that caused a curse to travel down the family line up until the preset day and that all the characters are linked by generations that set them apart, forced to repeat the same mistakes until someone can break the link and set Amy's spirit free.
Why I Loved It
This book was so cleverly written, utterly spell binding and full of intrigue.
How the author has taken factual events and created such a complex story that seamlessly flows from one era to another, the end result is a beautiful historical novel full of secrets that allows you to piece the story together as you read and marvel at how it all links together over time.
I adore historical fiction and this is one of the nicest reads I have read in a while.
My favourite Character was definitely Amy Robsart, their was so much more to her then her husband ever believed and when it was revealed just how she died that day I felt this was very clever and I didn't see it coming.
The epilogue at the end finished the story off perfectly for me and left me with a lovely feeling inside.
I will be recommending this one to absolutely everyone.
Meet the author
Nicola Cornick is a writer and historian who was born and brought up in the north of England. Nicola developed a passion for history at an early age and nurtured it through reading and watching BBC costume dramas with her grandmother.
She went to school in an 18th century manor house where she studied subjects as varied as Anglo Saxon and ballroom dancing.
Nicola went on to study Medieval History, graduated from London University with an honours degree and worked for many years in academia until she gave it all up to be a full time author. Later she returned to college in Oxford to take a masters degree in History. Since the publication of her first Regency romance by Harlequin Mills & Boon in 1998, Nicola has become an international and award-winning bestseller.
She now writes dual timeframe novels inspired by the history and legends of her local area.
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