Sunday, July 19, 2020

Random Things Tours - Spirited

TITLE: Spirited
AUTHOR: Julie Cohen
PUBLISHER: Orion Publishing


A moving and gripping story about three women who keep unspeakable truths, from the Richard & Judy recommended bestselling author Julie Cohen. 

Viola has an impossible talent. Searching for meaning in her grief, she uses her photography to feel closer to her late father, taking solace from the skills he taught her - and to keep her distance from her husband. But her pictures seem to capture things invisible to the eye . . . 

Henriette is a celebrated spirit medium, carrying nothing but her secrets with her as she travels the country. When she meets Viola, a powerful connection is sparked between them - but Victorian society is no place for reckless women. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, invisible threads join Viola and Henriette to another woman who lives in secrecy, hiding her dangerous act of rebellion in plain sight. 

Faith. Courage. Love. What will they risk for freedom?

Until about three years ago, I never really considered historical fiction a genre I enjoyed.  However, even though I still don't read a lot of it, I do find it to be a kind of comfort read.  When I was presented with the opportunity to read Spirited, I had no idea how much I would need a comfort read during the month of July.  Some might call it fate right?

When the book opens, Viola is in the process of marrying Jonah, a man she loved who recently returned for spending a few years in India.  Upon learning Viola's father has died, Jonah returns and speeds up the marriage, feeling it is his duty to take care of Viola.  Viola goes ahead and marries Jonah, despite being lost in grief and questioning her true feelings.  So begins a marriage that perhaps should have never taken place, but which was dictated by the time period. 

While Spirited is in fact a slow burn of a read, the pacing gradually pulled me in and enveloped me in a tale of grief, love, class and societal expectations.  Viola turns to her father's photography and uses it as a way to escape her unhappiness.  She also meets a medium, Henriette who is quite a bold contrast to the mild and often meek Viola.  I enjoyed reading about both of these woman and loved watching them maneuver a historical world dominated by men and their sexist views. 

Told in multiple POVs and set in England and India, Spirited leads the reader on a haunting journey.  I've not read any other books by this author but plan on researching to determine what else I might want to read.  The novel also features some newspaper clippings and other documents which bith add interest and serve to move the story along.  And finally,  I must say a small word about the cover, because in all honesty, it grabbed my attention even before reading the synopsis.  If you enjoy historical fiction and find yourself fascinated with the concept of spirit photography, then look no further, Spirited is the book for you!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julie Cohen grew up in the western mountains of Maine. Her house was just up the hill from the library and she spent many hours walking back and forth, her nose in a book. She studied English Literature at Brown University and Cambridge University and is a popular speaker and teacher of creative writing, including classes for the Guardian and Literature Wales. Her books have been translated into fifteen languages and have sold over a million copies; DEAR THING and TOGETHER were Richard and Judy Book Club picks. Her most recent novel is the critically acclaimed LOUIS & LOUISE. Julie lives in Berkshire with her husband, son and a terrier of dubious origin.


  1. Spirit photography-sounds a bit different from the usual. I hope you find other books by the author that you might enjoy.

  2. I'm loving historical fiction lately, I just read one myself, so I have to admit this sounds pretty good. I'm intrigued by the spirit photography aspect too😁

  3. That cover is great! And I do love good historical fiction that takes me away to another time and place. Can't wait to give this one a read. :)

  4. I don't read a lot of historical either except mystery. I suffer from the fiction part. I want to know what really happened when it's historical. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  5. Thanks so much for the blog tour support xx