“This is a thoroughly enjoyable book. Naomi Clifford’s writing has elegance and a lightness of touch that make this riveting story a joy to read. I became completely engrossed in Maria Glenn’s life story. She and the cast of characters around her are brought vividly and compassionately to life. The richly textured details of the period, of the culture and social mores make for fascinating reading, and the vibrant style is engaging. I was kept guessing as to the outcome of the courtroom drama till the very end. I loved it. Highly recommended.”
“Naomi Clifford brings this story of abduction and the aftermath in Regency Somerset brilliantly to life. Her style is as readable as her research is thorough. It is a fascinating look at the life of ordinary people transformed by a single event with devastating consequences. Read it!”
“Little-known true life story about a teenager who is taken away during the night by a family who want to marry her off, and what happens to her afterwards. Not normally my kind of thing but my partner bought it and recommended it. It’s a good read and trots along at a nice pace.”
“Stories of abduction were frequent during this time and it is often difficult to differentiate fact from fiction, but Naomi has clearly researched not only the characters but the period exceptionally well. She has done an amazing job in bringing Maria and the other characters to life. With much detective worked she has managed to piece together the characters in this true story, from minimal initial information. It’s a book which from the first page I simply had to keep reading to find out how it ended, there are plenty of twists and turns throughout, but I won’t spoil it by giving away any clues. Naomi offers the information in an easy and flowing style making for an incredibly enjoyable Regency read. I would highly recommend it.”
“Naomi Clifford’s true life story of Maria Glenn is written with superb attention to detail and beautifully crafted. The author has a reel feel for both the period and for her shy heroine. She manages to combine historical accuracy with the drama of a good novel and keeps the pages turning to the end. I loved it and thoroughly recommend. I’m already looking forward to her next book….”
“Naomi Clifford manages to do the nearly impossible. She’s combined a true-life mystery and a discursive history. She creates a page turner which is wildly informative, shedding fresh light and insights into dark unexplored histories, making strange what we’d assumed was familiar. The disappearance of Maria Glenn takes us on a picaresque journey into a world of elopement and abduction. Georgette Heyer’s romantic Regency world will never be the same again. In short order Naomi propels us from the plantations of St. Vincent to sleepy West Country farms and claustrophobic middle class life in Taunton; its legal community, newspapers, politics and courts. She deftly moves us to London and the Courts of Justice and its prisons. When the tale finally ends the aura of mystery isn’t absolutely lifted. What we learn of forced marriage and family honour, sadly, still applies here, today.
Comparisons with the inestimable Kate Summerscale are inevitable. Naomi Clifford is her equal in terms of her riveting prose and her superior as a serious social historian.”