Skip to main content

No Shame, No Fear by Ann Turnbull

I first came across No Shame, No Fear in Adele Gerasreview inThe Guardian. I read and loved Troy and was interested in reading a book Geras said, "Needs a trumpet to be blown for it." The narrative alternates between two points of view--that of Susanna, a young Quaker girl, and William, a young man just home from Oxford. Set in England in 1662 just as the Quaker Act is passed, Susanna takes a job as an apprentice in a print shop to help provide for her family since her father has been incarcerated. William is about to embark on a seven year apprenticship for a wealthy merchant in London. The two meet once on the road and again in the print shop and matters get thornier from there. William begins investigating the Quaker faith, expressly against his father's wishes, and the two find themselves drawn to each other at a time when such a connection could prove fatal to both. 

This short, simple tale held my interest easily and I found myself learning quite a bit about a time in history and a subset of the English population I was fairly unfamiliar with. Naturally, I found myself rooting for the starcrossed kids and was impressed when they both unexpectedly ended up displaying a bit more maturity than they could have given their youth and infatuation. The bad news is the ending does not resolve Susanna and Will's numerous problems. The good news is there's another book which, hopefully, does.

This is a scene early on in the book told from Susanna's perspective. Will comes into the print shop and finds Susanna reading a book called The Pious Prentice. 
"You should read poetry," he said, "not this stuff."
"Poetry?"
We stood, not touching now, but still breathless, aware of each other's bodies. 
"Poetry." He mimicked my suspicious tone. "Have you never read any? Is it frowned upon?"
"I think my father would feel it might. . .lead to unsuitable thought. It's a thing for scholars and gentlemen, is it not?"
"I'll lend you some," he said, "and you shall see for yourself. John Donne--no, George Herbert. Herbert was a godly man, a parish priest, much revered."
A priest. I felt I was entering dangerous lands. And yet I had been taught that the light was within everyone, that I should seek it and respond to it. Perhaps I should hear what this priest had to say.
Turnbull's writing style is so unobtrusive, it matches the simple, clean lines of the story very well. The pages fly by quickly and, as I said, the end leaves a few rather important issues unresolved so I recommend you have the sequel in hand when you sit down to read No Shame, No Fear. Sadly, I did not. I'll be remedying the situation shortly.

Comments

  1. sounds like a great read! I'll keep an eye out for it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A very pleasant read. I'm still trying to get my hands on the sequel.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous8:52 PM

    Adele Geras' Troy! I loved the book! We have such similar tastes :)

    I'll check this one out asap.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Grin. We do.

    Did you ever read Ithaka? I need to find that one.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This one looks so interesting. I hope it's at the library...and the sequel!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think you'd enjoy it, Kos. It's a quick, sweet read that leaves you feeling a bit breathless. An altogether pleasant feeling. ;)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

Angie's Best Books of 2022

  Somehow the end of the year is here. And we're all here. And I still feel like placing this post in this space. So I shall. With gratitude and a certain wistful hope. For us all. But especially for these books, the people that walk them, their words, and their creators. (listed in the order in which I read them) Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes by Cat Sebastian You Were Made to Be Mine by Julie Anne Long Impossible by Sarah Lotz Book Lovers by Emily Henry Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher The Bodyguard by Katherine Center The Worst Guy by Kate Canterbary Fire Season by K.D. Casey Husband Material by Alexis Hall Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood Lore Olympus, Vol. 3 by Rachel Smythe Greywaren by Maggie Stiefvater The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion, Vol. 6 by Beth Brower Daniel Cabot Puts Down Roots by Cat Sebastian Scattered Showers

Angie's 2023 Must Be Mine

  Begin as you mean to go on, they say. And so here are my most anticipated titles of 2023: And no covers on these yet, but I'm looking forward to them every bit as much: The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion, Vol. 7 by Beth Brower Knockout by Sarah MacLean Ten Things That Never Happened by Alexis Hall Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian Diamond Ring by K.D. Casey The Gentleman's Gambit by Evie Dunmore What titles are on your list?

Bibliocrack Review | The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

 Hi. Hey. Hello there. It's been a . . . well, you know what it's been. We're all still living this together. So I will simply skip to the fact that I couldn't not review this book here. Because reading it was something special. I knew nothing about Ali Hazelwood 's debut novel except that it involved women in STEM and that the cover made me smile. I decided to set it aside for myself as a reward. Work has been . . . punishing . . . for the last year, and I have been so exhausted every hour of every day. And so I determined to buy The Love Hypothesis  on release day knowing nothing about it. But when I went to the bookstore to get my copy, none were available. In fact, none were available anywhere for love nor money, in store or online. At first I was moderately disappointed. Then I told myself maybe it's not that great after all and I didn't necessarily need to feel this preemptive sense of loss. But it kept gnawing at me. The loss. And so I paused work an