A Window On 1900
The Testing Of Rose Alleyn by Vivien Freeman is a charming snapshot into bygone days.
The novel is set in 1900 in a small town in the S.E. of England. It is written in the first person from the point of view of Rose Alleyn. The reader is given a window into her world.
Rose Alleyn works in a bookshop. Books are her passion. It is a passion that she shares with the owner. They delight in reading poetry and prose aloud. The reader revels in the famous authors of the time.
As a daughter brought up in the countryside, we hear of Rose Alleyn’s family. Many of her siblings are in service. It was a job destined for her too, until a close encounter with the young master meant she sought alternative employment.
With comprehensive descriptions by the author, we see that Rose Alleyn has an eye for detail. We hear of the flowers in the countryside and the bookshelves in the shop.
The bookshop is thriving until a misprint in a book plunges the shop into notoriety. We witness the power of the press to influence and build up or destroy reputations.
There is a camaraderie in the boarding house between the young women. Their care and compassion come to the fore when Rose Alleyn is taken ill.
Discussions about the interior and exterior of houses produced a highly amusing scene for me… Rose Alleyn declares she is not keen on indoor toilets. She prefers sitting in outdoor ones, listening to the bees buzzing as she goes about her business!
The Testing Of Rose Alleyn was a gentle book that transports the reader back in time to a slower pace of life. It is an absolutely charming read.
I received a free copy via Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
The Testing of Rose Alleyn
England in the year 1900. A vibrant young woman must take control of her destiny.
Vivien Freeman’s atmospheric novel brings late Victorian England hauntingly to life in the mind of the reader. In this beautifully written romance, we explore the choices facing an independent-minded woman at a time when women struggled for self-determination.
Author Bio –
Vivien Freeman grew up in North London and graduated in Art History from the University of East Anglia before settling in Ware, Hertfordshire. A published poet as well as a novelist, she taught Creative Writing for many years and has an M.A. in Scriptwriting from Salford University. She now lives in rural Wales in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband, the poet, John Freeman.