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The Butcher's Hook by Janet Ellis

Jane Austen meets Gone Girl in this debut novel about nineteen-year-old Anne Jaccob who falls in love with the wrong boy and will do anything to keep him...

Anne Jaccob is a daughter of a wealthily merchant, a child brought up in privilege, someone who understands the mark of entitlement. Set in Georgian London, in Summer 1763, The Butcher's Hook is a coming of age novel that pulls you in hook, line and sinker. 

Anne is a free-spirit...well as much as a free-spirit she can be while living in the tight confines of a rich family homestead in 1763. She is a tough, smart cookie, and constantly challenging and analyzing the situations that she finds herself in. 

At a young age, she is taken advantage of by her tutor -- a close friend of her father's. But Anne is not one, to shun away and hide like a helpless girl. Instead, her maturity in the matter and her will to take charge of the situation is admirable. 

Her mother is too busy to be involved in Anne's life, as she is consumed by her new child -- a girl, who Anne loves to despise. She speaks of her mother as someone who rarely vouchsafed a confidence or asked Anne of her thoughts. Anne accepts that this will never change. As a child she remembers her mother being confined to her bed most of the time, always unwell. 

Her father has always desired a boy, and as you can imagine has never been happy to have sired two daughters. Two daughters living, and one son dead...what use was that to him? Anne knew that was why he rarely smiled. 

Janet Ellis writes with a precision that is rare to find in a debut author. She slices through the sixteenth century's idiosyncrasies amid a turbulent period in British history, whilst soaking up the richness of the era into a three hundred plus page novel. As a reader, you dive into the past, willingly, without hesitation. Just as in life, her characters are memorable, admirable and flawed. And, just like in life, you never know exactly where the journey may take you. 

The Butcher's Hook is published by House Of Anansi. Releases March 2016.

Blog post by @ShilpaRaikar (Creative and Social Media strategist, decor enthusiast and book lover, who also writes for a branding blog:, as well as a lifestyle blog: T: @SukasaStyle) 

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