Friday, June 28, 2024

The Maiden by Kate Foster


Hardback:  370 pages

Genre:  Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime, Scotland

Publisher: Mantle, Pan Macmillan, 2023

Source:  Tywyn Public Library

First Sentences: You are sentenced to beheading. God have mercy on your soul. Prepare yourself in prayer.

Review Quote:  'Riveting . . . the tension persists until the last page’ ― The Times

Favourite Quote: “Although I read avidly and wrote with flair, far exceeding the direction of the tutor who came to Roseburn, these assets were not considered to be as attractive as obedience or serenity or silence.”

My Opinion:  

'The Maiden' is Kate Foster's debut novel and is Historical Crime Fiction, which is not a first choice genre for me. I think this is probably the reason that it only recently caught my attention. I am glad it did and a sign of how much I enjoyed it is that her second novel, 'The Kings Witches' published earlier this month is already on my Wishlist to read.

Inspired by the true story of Christian Nimmo who was executed in Edinburgh in 1679 for the murder of her lover, who also happened to be her uncle! The author has taken the intriguing known facts of the case and woven a fascinating fictional story with a great cast of characters. none of these are confirmed in historical records apart from Christian herself and her uncle James Forrester but most definitely they are the sort of people that would have lived at the time in such a setting.

Just imagine this story in a modern day setting when thankfully women are treated differently, making this novel a great choice, in my opinion for Book Club discussions. Overall an extraordinary period tale of love and deceit that I recommend if you enjoy historical fiction based on fact.


Précis Courtesy of Goodreads: 

Inspired by a real-life case and winner of the Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect Award, Kate Foster's The Maiden is a remarkable story with a feminist revisionist twist, giving a voice to women otherwise silenced by history.

"In the end, it did not matter what I said at my trial. No one believed me."

Edinburgh, October 1679. Lady Christian Nimmo is arrested and charged with the murder of her lover, James Forrester. News of her imprisonment and subsequent trial is splashed across the broadsides, with headlines that leave little room for doubt: Adulteress. Whore. Murderess.

Only a year before, Christian was leading a life of privilege and respectability. So, what led her to risk everything for an affair? And does that make her guilty of murder? She wasn't the only woman in Forrester's life, and certainly not the only one who might have had cause to wish him dead . . .

Author Profile:         

Kate   Foster
Courtesy of Goodreads

Kate Foster has been a national newspaper journalist for over twenty years. Growing up in Edinburgh, she became fascinated by its history and often uses it as inspiration for her stories. The Maiden won the Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect 2020 prize for new writers. She lives in Edinburgh with her two children. 

Photographs and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites:

Kate Foster - Amazon Profile.   Goodreads Profile       Kate Foster on Twitter

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