Title: Mrs England
Author: Stacey Halls
Publisher: Bonnier Books UK
Page Count: 400
Published: 10th June 2021
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
BIG, big fan. Uneasy vibes throughout with fun humans peppered in it. Just wish it wasn’t a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kinda story. Give me moooore.
Ms Halls has a special place in my heart. My historical fiction pal. My story-telling bestie. One of the very few authors I’d read books from even if she went wild and wrote an in-depth dissertation on the inner workings of the Victorian millinery industry. I’d be there. I loved The Foundling, The Familiars and I’m gonna go out and throw Mrs England up on my pit of praise, too. If you grab it, this is what you’re in for.
✨ Set in the proper sticks of West Yorkshire
✨ One nurse defying the dumb rules created by men
✨ Four kids who are actually dead adorable
✨ A wealthy couple where something ain’t quite right about the mysterious Mrs England
Nurse Ruby May is an absolute champ. She storms in, fixes all the broken shite the last nurse left behind and provides a mother figure for the kids in her care. The family she works for LOVES her, but she can’t go with them overseas as much as they’d have her in an instant.
Instead, Rubsters finds herself out in the sticks with four little humans to look after instead of the one she’s used to. Not content with the massive culture change from city to countryside, but she’s also slapped in the face with some societal changes when the main man (Mr England) seems to take on the lowly duties usually expected of the mistress.
But this is Ruby – she ain’t afraid of no challenge and before long, she has the place whipped up and running smoothly with the weird-in-the-1900s gender role switch shoved to the back of her mind. HOWEVER, there is only so long that shit can stay tucked away and, before long, the truth starts to wiggle out and along with it comes a big ol’ shit storm of chaos. It turns out there’s also more than one way to gaslight someone.
If it wasn’t apparent from my earlier gushing, I have A LOT of time for Stacey’s writing.
The world-building? Perfect.
The characters? Loved and hated them which is also perfect.
The pace? Ideal for my poor attention span.
The one bit I wish I had more of? The end. Tbh, I’m greedy – I just wanted that bit drawn out a little more and build up the tension to exploding point, but it’s absolutely not a negative on this book.
If you like historical fiction or either of her past two books, this will be right up your street.
Mrs England is out on the 10th June 2021.