Where did it all go wrong? The making and breaking of a friendship, and the aftermath… But who will take the blame – or bear the shame…?
Brothers at Arms – (Linmore – The Early Years) – (Linmore Series Book 1) – an epic family saga, set in Shropshire during the Pre-Regency Georgian era (1794-1802) – at a time when the French wars rumble on in the background – and life, with its family feuds and intrigues, continues in a rural England of the Agricultural Revolution.
(The Prelude to Held to Ransom)
Joshua Norbery knows, as the second son of the gentry, there is no future for him at Linmore; a fact his older sibling never allows him to forget. His father’s decision to adopt two orphaned children gives Joshua a friend in Charlie Cobarne, who shares his intention to join the army; and a torment in Charlie’s sister Sophie, who determines to go with them and follow the drum. In so doing she binds their friendship together.
Maturity creates problems when the boy’s Grand Tour leaves Sophie at home for her safety. Her feral response creates havoc, so Squire Norbery sends her to school to learn to be a lady. Once there, she befriends the daughter of a wealthy industrialist and makes plans for the future, little knowing who has most to lose if they should go awry.
A family bereavement, which leaves Joshua heir to the estate, forces him to abandon his plans to join the army, and makes Charlie question the direction his life will take. Sophie is in no doubt, but her obsession with Linmore leads to a misunderstanding that threatens its future.
When a crisis erupts, and a man’s life hangs in the balance, the ensuing family scandal forces Joshua into exile. Will the lessons he must learn be enough to restore his father’s respect? And what will the others do when they too are banished from Linmore…?
(A Coming-of-Age story)
A Very easy 5-stars. One of the best books we’ve read this year. and a winner of the BBE Recommended read award, given to less than 10% of books reviewed. The award is given based on the quality of writing, and story engagement.
Brothers at Arms wouldn’t be a book I’d normally choose, but it was recommended by a friend. And what a treat I’d have missed out on. This was one of my favourite books this year. It’s a captivating historical novel taking readers to the Pre-Regency Georgian era. Set against the backdrop of the the Agricultural Revolution, this book gives a detailed portrayal of rural England during the period. It’s fascinating.
One of the strongest aspects of the book are its characters. Joshua Norbery, the son of gentry, is perfectly designed. The dynamics of his friendship with Charlie Cobarne, are nothing short of brilliant. Add to the mix the complexities introduced by Sophie, Charlie’s unusual and disruptive sister, and it’s perfect. The author creates the opening of a saga of family feuds, intrigue, and enduring bonds.
The narrative has a balance of emotional depth and historical authenticity. Brigges’ vivid descriptions bring the Georgian era to life, immersing readers in a world of societal progression and personal struggles. The pacing is well-crafted, and the plot is filled with unexpected twists that keep the reader turning the pages.
The themes of friendship, loyalty, and the pursuit of dreams resonate through the story, making it a historical tale and a compelling coming-of-age narrative. The characters’ growth and maturation adds depth to the overall storyline. I adored the travelogue elements to it as well—just perfect.
This is a beautifully written and meticulously researched novel that will transport readers to another time and place. Jemima Brigges’ attention to historical detail, and her skilful storytelling, make this book a must-read for fans of historical fiction.
I loved this book and look forward to the next one.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 16 May 2021
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on 27 August 2017
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on 17 March 2017
Katherine Black / Susan (Sooz) Simpson
Founder of Best Book Editors
Katherine has held almost every single job imaginable, from painting gnomes to zookeeper. She spent most of her life in the caring profession and has managed both a nursing home and a care agency. But her passion for the written language always brings her home to novel writing.
Born in Tyne-and-Wear, North-East England, she has settled in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, with her partner, two dogs, a cat, an iguana and a python (just don’t ask her which of those six things is her favourite!).
She specialises in content creation and social media outreach, and has been a developmental editor for hundreds of clients. She owns and operates bestbookeditors.com where she helps foundling authors polish their skills. However, after being diagnosed with a dramatic brain condition in 2022, she has had to let 23 staff go, and scale back the business. BBE is still very much open, we are just fewer and can’t take as much work on.
Katherine Black is the author of psychological thriller/detective/fantasy adventure novels.