Drumbeats by Julia Ibbotson

A Journey Of Discovery

Drumbeats by Julia Ibbotson is a marvellous historical coming-of-age novel that completely enthralled me. It is the first book in the Drumbeats trilogy.

The novel is set in 1965-1966. It is the dawn of a new era. Travel is beginning to open up and there are new freedoms on the horizon for women. The 1960’s was a decade that brought choice.

We follow an eighteen year old girl on her gap year to Ghana. Here she teaches English to local girls. It is a year in which her eyes will be opened, new friendships formed and old traumas re-visited.

Travelling to small villages shows up the terrible poverty. Children are dying through lack of basic medication and no mosquito nets. Any aid given is a drop in the ocean but can make a difference.

Having been sheltered in England with a Quaker upbringing, the leading lady rapidly grows up in Ghana. She proves herself to be very capable and far wiser than her years.

The leading lady’s hometown is Birmingham but it is Ghana that speaks to her heart and soul as she hears the rhythm of the drums.

From sunshine to monsoon rains and back again, one must learn to read the weather.

Julia Ibbotson has captured the fear of the power coup in February 1966. Armed men, some only boys, take to the streets.

The reader is in for a real treat for our senses as Julia Ibbotson’s artistic pen captures the heat, the sights and sounds of Ghana. Drumbeats came to life in my head. It was a colourful read.

I completely ‘lived’ Drumbeats for a few hours. It was a time of discovery for both the lead character and the reader.

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.



It’s 1965, and 18 year old Jess escapes her stifling English home for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. But it’s a time of political turbulence across the region. Fighting to keep her young love who waits back in England, she’s thrown into the physical and emotional dangers of civil war, tragedy and the conflict of a disturbing new relationship. And why do the drumbeats haunt her dreams?

This is a rite of passage story which takes the reader hand in hand with Jess on her journey towards the complexities and mysteries of a disconcerting adult world.

This is the first novel in the acclaimed Drumbeats trilogy: Drumbeats, Walking in the Rain, Finding Jess.

For fans of Dinah Jefferies, Kate Morton, Rachel Hore, Jenny Ashcroft

Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/Drumbeats1

Author Bio –

Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson herself spent an exciting time in Ghana, West Africa, teaching and nursing (like Jess in her books), and always vowed to write about the country and its past. And so, the Drumbeats Trilogy was born. She’s also fascinated by history, especially by the medieval world, and concepts of time travel, and has written haunting time-slips of romance and mystery partly set in the Anglo-Saxon period. She studied English at Keele University, England, specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in linguistics. She wrote her first novel at age 10, but became a school teacher, then university lecturer and researcher. Her love of writing never left her and to date she’s written 9 books, with a 10th on the way. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, Society of Authors and the Historical Novel Society.

Social Media Links –

Author website:

Facebook Author page:




Pinterest page: includes boards with pics and images that inspired each book

Goodreads author page:




RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) website author page

Giveaway to Win a Signed paperback copy of Drumbeats (Open to UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


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