I’m happy to be part of the blog tour for one of my favourite historical fiction writers today to celebrate the UK ebook release of Judith Kinghorn’s The Snow Globe. Give The Snow Globe a gentle shake and you’ll find a father falling off his pedestal, a mother forced to reassess her life, both past and future, and a daughter on the cusp of her adult life with romance and independence beckoning, becoming more aware of the real world outside her sheltered childhood home and the houseful of secrets that same haven contains.
As Christmas 1926 approaches, the Forbes family are preparing to host a celebration at Eden Hall. Eighteen-year-old Daisy is preoccupied by a sense of change in the air. Overnight, her relationship with Stephen Jessop, the housekeeper’s son, has shifted and every encounter seems fraught with tension. Before the festivities are over, Daisy has received a declaration of love, a proposal and a kiss – from three different men. Unable to bear the confusion she flees to London and stays with her elder sister.
By the following summer, Daisy has bowed to the persistence of the man who proposed to her the previous year. When the family reunite for a party at Eden Hall and Stephen is once more in her life, it is clear to Daisy she is committing to the wrong person. Yet she also believes that family secrets mean she has no choice but to follow her head instead of her heart. Will love conquer all, or is Daisy’s fate already written?
Set in an English country house in the 1920s, The Snow Globe is, as always with Judith Kinghorn’s novels, a pleasure to read: her beautiful writing coaxes you through a story filled with period detail, lush description and a whole cast of fully-formed characters. Just as you do with Robert Altman’s inclusive camerawork in Gosford Park, you’ll soon feel caught up in daily life at Eden Hall, thanks to Judith’s intimate writing style, drawing you into the book’s world and the heads of her characters. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether you’re more at home above or below stairs.
If you’re interested in the interwar period in England, of families and their staff in large country houses, and the changes to these that are coming about after the First World War, this is a lovely take on the subject. The Snow Globe focuses on one family, their household staff, and friends and neighbours, who reflect what was happening in society as a whole and puts this period in our history on a more personal level, making it relatable. An aspect I especially enjoyed is how the story contrasts the choices open to a mother and now her daughter.
There are no great dramas or crises here, it’s a gentle read, although there is certainly disillusionment, the odd setback and disappointment before the story resolves itself. Much in the same way that a snow globe suffers an upset but gradually comes to rest again with the flakes arranged differently, and having weathered the storm until the next time. The Snow Globe is a wonderful book to settle down with as the nights draw in. Why not let Judith Kinghorn whirl you away to Christmas 1926?
The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn, together with her previous novel, The Echo of Twilight, are both published by Canelo. The Snow Globe was published as an ebook yesterday and you can find it on Amazon (UK), Kobo (UK), Google Books (UK), Apple Books (UK) and on Goodreads.
Judith Kinghorn is the author of four novels: The Echo of Twilight, The Snow Globe, The Memory of Lost Senses and The Last Summer. She was born in Northumberland, educated in the Lake District, and is a graduate in English and History of Art. She lives in Hampshire, England, with her husband and two children. You can find out more about Judith and her books on her Author Website, on Facebook or on Twitter.
The Snow Globe Blog Tour continues until 8th October.