Seventeen-year-old Lady Katherine Fanshawe (Kate) has lost everything in the civil war that has torn England apart. Determined to build a community of friends, she invites Owen Whistler and the radical Diggers sect to make their home in her manor house.
When her stepfather unexpectedly returns, he evicts the Diggers with no pay, despite their months of labour on his land. Wilful, and determined to regain Owen’s trust, Kate has to repay her friends the only way she can – by turning to secret highway robbery.
But Kate is not the only one riding the highway at night, and her rival for the road is intent on bloodshed and murder. When he unleashes a reign of terror, Kate gets the blame. Will she be able to clear her name, and save the one person she loves from his lust for revenge?
In this third of a trilogy about Katherine Fanshawe, the royalists are finished and Cromwell has an iron hold on the country. Being on the wrong side has landed Ms Swift’s heroine into an impossible situation where starvation is a possibility and yet the alternative; to invite a group of Diggers to live in her empty house and work the land is a choice she comes to regret. It seems no one can forget their origins and hatred is too ingrained to reason away.
Her stepfather returns to England, and forced to comply with the worst of the Puritan faction, he plans to remove her to France to get away from the oppressive regime. This is the last thing Katherine wants, but how to defy her patriarch? Then things worsen even further when it’s suggested her unloved husband might be dead, making Katherine a bargaining chip for her worst enemy, the treacherous Downall.
Katherine is forced into a path which puts her into even more danger, but she doesn’t feel sorry for herself and does what is necessary. A worthy heroine who risks everything to pay a debt in a society where women like her have little to offer in the first place other than wealthy connections. Even her name is cursed.
This novel might be aimed at the young adult audience but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable story for any age. For those who don’t have extensive knowledge of the English Civil War, the story deals with the aftermath of the Cavaliers v Roundheads clearly and sympathetically. The ‘Highways’ stories are an essential addition to any historical novel collection.
Anita Davison author of ‘Royalist Rebel’ under the name Anita Seymour. The first in her Flora Maguire Edwardian Cosy Mystery series is scheduled for release in October 2016 by Head of Zeus Publishing.
Anita's Blog: http://thedisorganisedauthor.blogspot.
Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.