The Butcher’s Hook is an accomplished, polished, excellent read. The novel feels fresh, it is a terrific read and it will shock you. Banish any preconceived ideas about historical novels; get reading the story of Anne, her desires and passion in Georgian London.
As the only daughter of well-to-do parents, Anne lives a sheltered life. Her home is a miserable place. Though her family want for nothing, her father is uncaring, her mother is ailing, and the baby brother who taught her to love is dead. Unfortunately her parents have already chosen a more suitable husband for her than the butcher’s apprentice, Fub. Anne is a strange girl, dark and I am not sure I actually liked her but I could not get her out of my head and I felt there was a wicked sense of fun and play in her somewhere.
Ellis has super attention to detail in her writing and the street scenes of London are atmospheric leaving you with the feeling that you are walking those streets with Anne as she goes off to flirt with Fub and to avoid meeting her intended husband, Onions.
This doesn’t feel like a first novel and is most enjoyable and entertaining read for lovers of great fiction from a master storyteller. Read an interview with Janet and Alice O’Keefe here.
Two Roads/£14.99/ 9781473625112