Hearts and Farthings by Beryl Kingston

3 stars out of 5

To this alien world of Victorian Britain comes Alberto Pelucci, an early immigrant from distant Italy, dreaming of adventure and romance. Adventure enough is the verminous room of his first night’s stay in London, but romance seems more rewarding when the shy Alice accepts his hand. Only on their wedding night does he realise that his bride will never share his passion for physical pleasures. 

And so when Alberto meets Queenie Dawson – exuberant, sensuous star of the music halls – his ordered new life is flung into turmoil . . . 

Hearts and Farthings: the heart-warming saga of a man torn between two women, and of children born in the last, bittersweet days before the war that should have ended all wars. 

My Thoughts:

Thank you to NetGalley and the Timeless Fiction Review Club for a free digital copy of this book to review.

This books starts really well and the early part of Alberto’s journey to and life in England was very enjoyable. The characters were brought to life well by the author and the descriptions of the places (and the smells) were vivid.

However I found the second half of the book was less enjoyable as it became repetitive and predictable. There was also an issue in Chapter 32 where the number of children going on holiday was impossible due to a death in an earlier chapter.

Having researched the book after reading it, I can see that this was first published in the 1980’s – perhaps a current editor should have made some tweaks?

By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum of teenagers. Adopter of dogs.

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