To believe in her future, she must uncover her past…
Born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse, Cora Burns has always struggled to control the violence inside her.
Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of scientist Thomas Jerwood. Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora…?
With the power and intrigue of Laura Purcell’s The Silent Companions and Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done, Carolyn Kirby’s stunning debut takes the reader on a heart-breaking journey through Victorian Birmingham and questions where we first learn violence: from our scars or from our hearts.
I was so excited to receive a copy of Carolyn Kirby’s fantastic #TheConvictionOfCoraBurns after being obsessed with historical fiction this month that I literally read it in a single sitting…
Ever since seeing this gorgeous and eye-catching cover on Twitter, I felt a connection with this book and as soon as I knew Anne Cater was organising a tour for #TheConvictionOfCoraBurns, I was straight on to her to let me read and review it
The fact that #TheConvictionOfCoraBurns takes Cora’s story and weaves such a compelling narrative around it is something which I especially loved about this book. I read it straight after The Confessions of Frannie Langton and I really enjoyed the exploration into the ‘story behind the story’ in both cases by dipping into actual history books to explore the background to these novels that feel real, even though their characters are fictional.
#TheConvictionOfCoraBurns is the kind of novel that draws you in and makes you inhabit its world for the whole time you are reading it. Reading about women connected across time with lives and experiences that you are distant from yet drawn to and whose stories you can travel into effortlessly is so satisfying. Carolyn Kirby writes Cora and Violet so convincingly that you really feel that you’ve spent time in their worlds, making it very hard to pull yourself away. It’s a novel that I really got obsessed with and found it difficult to pull myself away from.
The fact that the novel mixes snippets of ‘factual’ extracts with the narrative that really helps to make you feel like you are reading a ‘True’ tale and made this a stand-out read for me. I got totally caught up in Cora’s tale and am recommending it to everyone!
Carolyn Kirby is such a talented voice. She draws the reader into her characters’ worlds and makes them live for us as we read. This gorgeous book took pride of place in my very own ‘TBR Bookshelf’ Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book which I received in exchange for an honest review. If you like gripping historical fiction then you’ll love this book. Treat yourself to a copy here
Check out the AMAZING Booktrail to really lose yourself in Cora’s world.
Writer On The Shelf
Originally from Sunderland, Carolyn Kirby studied history at St Hilda’s College, Oxford before working for social housing and then as a teacher of English as a foreign language. Her novel The Conviction of Cora Burns was begun in 2013 on a writing course at Faber Academy in London.
The novel has achieved success in several competitions including finalist in the 2017 Mslexia Novel Competition and as the winner of the inaugural Bluepencilagency Award. Carolyn has two grown-up daughters and lives with her husband in rural Oxfordshire.