By Love Divided by Elizabeth St. John
Publication Date: October 12, 2017
eBook & Paperback; 381 Pages
Series: The Lydiard Chronicles, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction
Royalist Sir Allen Apsley thinks his choice is clear, but when his mother embraces the Puritan cause, and his beloved sister Luce falls in love with John Hutchinson, a Roundhead soldier, his loyalties are tested. Is it family first? Is it country first? As England falls into bloody civil war, Allen must fight for king and country, while Luce embraces Parliament’s radical views and confronts the very core of the family’s beliefs. And when their influential Villiers cousins raise the stakes, Allen and Luce face a devastating challenge. Will war unite or divide them? In the dawn of rebellion, love is the final battleground.
Based on surviving memoirs, court papers and letters of Elizabeth St.John’s family, By Love Divided continues the story of Lucy St.John, The Lady of the Tower. This powerfully emotional novel tells of England’s great divide, and the heart-wrenching choices one family faces.
“I am completely blown away by Elizabeth St. John’s follow up novel, By Love Divided. The depth of her characterization, the elegance of her prose (and dialogue) and the masterful way in which she presents the realities of the English Civil War such that we’re bleeding for both sides is nothing short of brilliant. If you want a compelling, exquisitely written story to immerse you in the past, By Love Divided is a must read! I consider it one of my favourite historical reads and it’s earned a place on my keeper shelf! 5 plus stars!” -Cryssa Bazos, Author of The Traitor’s Knot
My Review: By Love Divided is the very reason that I love historical fiction.
This novel is the sequel to The Lady of the Tower, which I haven’t read yet. But, I do have it queued up on Leif, ready to begin after I finish writing this review. (For those of you who do not regularly read my blog, Leif is my Kindle. I mean, c’mon! It prompts you to name your Kindle at set-up. I couldn’t just name him ‘Stacie’s Kindle.’ Anyway, I digress…) From the reviews that I have read of The Lady of the Tower, it is excellent. Which I do not find surprising in the least, after devouring By Love Divided in record time.
This book continues the story of the Apsley family. (By the way, I was able to read this as a stand-alone with no problem.) The story continues with Lucy; now widowed, bankrupt and trying desperately to provide security for her children. While these hardships and subsequent resolutions play out, her children, Luce and Allen, are growing older and finding themselves on different sides of the political unrest swirling around them.
Elizabeth St. John is brilliant at fleshing out the characters in the story, bringing them to vivid life for her readers. Each character is historically, accurately researched; each with their own depth, personality, quirks and emotions. The calculating reality of court life, the tribulations of battle and war…the author does not shy away from portraying the circumstances of history and the scenes the characters find themselves, in paralyzing, beautiful realism.
Between the author’s writing, her gift for research and the characters themselves, I could not put the book down. I felt as though I myself was a part of the family, a participant in the goings-on of the story. I can’t wait to dig into the first book of the series, and seriously hope that we have not read the last of the Apsley family.
Elizabeth St.John was brought up in England and lives in California. To inform her writing, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and Castle Fonmon to the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it’s hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth’s family still occupy them – in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that’s a different story…
By Love Divided, Elizabeth’s sequel to The Lady of the Tower, follows the fortunes of the St.John family during the English Civil War, and is out now.
Blog Tour Schedule
Saturday, November 4
Kick Off at Passages to the Past
Sunday, November 5
Excerpt at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Monday, November 6
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time
Friday, November 10
Feature at WS Momma Readers Nook
Monday, November 13
Review at Bookish
Wednesday, November 15
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Thursday, November 16
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Friday, November 17
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, November 20
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Tuesday, November 21
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Thursday, November 23
Excerpt at T’s Stuff
Saturday, November 25
Review & Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Monday, November 27
Review at Adventures Thru Wonderland
Tuesday, November 28
Feature at A Literary Vacation
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of By Love Divided to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US & UK residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.