This week’s Inheritance Books are from fellow ChocLiteer Beverley Eikli. Hi Beverley, welcome to Inheritance Books.
Hello Rhoda.Thank you for inviting me here.
It’s my pleasure. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Beverley Eikli and the author of four Regency Historical romances. My latest, published by Choc Lit, is The Reluctant Bride, winner of Choc Lit’s Search for an Australian Star competition. It’s a Napoleonic espionage romantic suspense, a ‘slow boil romance with a thriller ending’ which describes the ‘darker side of the Regency’.
Which book have you inherited from generations above?
When my grandparents died I inherited many of their books, including a collection of beautifully bound and gold-embossed Boy’s Own Adventures as well as an interesting collection of books aimed at the Young Adult market during the World War I years.
Which book would you leave to generations below?
One of these I read for the first time last year to my then seven- and 11-year-old daughters. Published in 1912 by James Nisbet & Co, Nadia to the Rescue – a Tale of The Land of the Czar by Dorothea Moore has cemented itself as one of my all-time favourite books.
I quickly found myself as enthralled as my daughters by the exciting adventures of this ‘plucky’ well-brought up London young girl who becomes embroiled in a daring rescue that takes her to Russia after she agrees to help Count Michael, the son of a friend of Nadia’s newly discovered godmother.
Nadia to the Rescue has all the elements I adored as a child, and which I love to include in the historical romances I write today. There’s an underlying mystery surrounding an evil Russian uncle who has custody of Count Michael’s half sister, eccentric Russian nobles and a rich and detailed backdrop of Russia under the rule of the Czar. Nadia’s role in freeing the young girl is thrilling and involves nights spent in Russian huts with peasants, navigating swirling icy rivers and grisly wolf episodes.
Truly, it was an eye-opener to read a book that debunked all my ideas as to what well-brought up young ladies in pre World War I were reading in England or, in my grandmother’s case, South Africa.
I enjoyed the book as much for the fast-paced adventure and the fact that Nadia was involved in everything on an equal footing, as for a glimpse of the mores of the day from a contemporary perspective. One example is this beautiful snippet of dialogue when Nadia has just met Count Michael who has asked if she’ll let him put her down for one or two more dances, later on.
“It’s frightfully nice of you,” Nadia told him with conviction; “but would you mind asking Esther – she’s my sister – instead? She’s got to come out next year, so she must get accustomed to men. You see Father is awfully clever, so all the people he brings home are fossils. We’ve never really looked at a man who isn’t bald. Esther is trying to learn how to talk from books; but when one knows the sort of people who write books one doesn’t feel too safe.”
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Nadia to the Rescue was that it was published in 1912, just before the First World War but was given to my grandmother as a Christmas present by her sister, in 1917, the year the Russian Revolution began.
Granny would have been fourteen, and completely unaware that the story she was reading was of a land in the midst of turmoil that would soon no longer exist, and that the fictional youngsters Dorothea Moore had created just a few years before had far more to worry about than the dangerous adventure they were caught up in.
So this is the book I would leave to my children for they could read it to their children, whether boys or girls.
I will definitely be looking out for more works by this perhaps all-but forgotten author.
Nadia sounds like an interesting role model for girls. A bit like George from the Famous Five.
Thanks for sharing your favourite books with us, Beverley. All the best with your book. It certainly sounds intriguing.
If you’re a writer or book blogger and would like to share you Inheritance Books, please get in touch.
You can read my review here.