When Betsy, a strong and determined spinster of independent means, adopts her motherless nephew, she doesn’t mean to fall head over heels in love with the child. When she plucks William from the bosom of his family, she does it out of self-interest, hoping to thwart unwelcome suitors. Her plan to raise William as a gentleman, allowing his respectability to rub off on herself, almost works. But things don’t always go to plan.
One person, she hasn’t considered is Joe, William’s brother. Years later Joe arrives to avenge his loss, with devastating consequences for Betsy. William is horrified by his brother’s betrayal and vows never to forgive him. It takes a travelling preacher to bring the brothers together once more. William sets off on a journey of discovery and fulfillment he never expected.
The next generation fight their own battles against the evils of poverty and greed. Can William prevent his son, John, from losing everyone he loves?
This is a family saga about love, loss, and betrayal. It is an intimate portrayal of a family dealing with big ideas of the times.
The backdrop is the decaying, coastal town of Grimsby trying to reinvent itself amid the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars, dissenting religion and the fight for voting reform.
My Q&A with Rosemary Noble
Describe yourself using three words?
Tenacious, Inquiring, Impatient
What inspired you to write your first novel?
A fascinating story found from my family history research.
What time of day do you like to write?
Anytime during the day, not evening, but I do my best thinking at night.
What is your favourite book and why?
Poisonwood Bible – I just loved the individual voices of the different sisters.
How did you pick the title of your book?
I found that a quayside had been named Ranter’s Wharf (the ranters first began meeting in a warehouse there. Then I found a beautiful folk song with the same name.
Are the characters in your book based on real people?
My main protagonist, William Holtby is based on my 3 times great grandfather. Some of the people he met were historical figures.
What’s your favourite word?
Rapacious – I don’t think I have used it in my writing. I love the sound of it.
If you were a colour what would it be?
Pinky /lilac. It’s the colour of the sky you sometimes get after the sun has set on the sea’s horizon.
Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?
I have a basic outline, but then I’m very much a pantser. Characters sometimes write themselves e.g. Sarah in Search for the Light and Mary in the Digger’s daughter.
Who is your favourite Author?
Barbara Kingsolver but I am loving Anthony Doerr too now. Every chapter in All the Light You Cannot See is a mini masterpiece.
You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?
I will just say the whole cast of War and Peace. It’s just the perfect book and I loved both BBC productions.
What book are you reading at the moment?
All the Light You Cannot See
Where in the world is your happy place?
Tasmania – it inspired me to write Search for the Light. Despite it once being a prison island it is the most beautiful, tranquil place. Almost empty of people. You can drive for miles without seeing another car. People actually wave at you as you drive past.
If you had one superpower what would it be?
Everyone’s must be the same – create peace on earth.
If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?
That’s a difficult question. I’m not sure I want any villain to have a happy ending. If I have to choose one it will be Bonnie Parker from Bonnie and Clyde – if only she hadn’t met Clyde.
You can buy your copy here: Amazon UK
Find Love Books Group here too: