A period romance of the highest order, this story is totally un-put-downable from the moment you first step foot into the twisted psyche of the enigmatic and, quite frankly, dark Mr Hawes. There are so many twists and turns and little surprises throughout this book that it truly is a wonderful read. But before I start to waffle too much in general terms, I’ll get stuck in in letting you know my thoughts.
To start, I think the characters are more than worthy of a mention. Lawrence is a master of character development, and I say this after having only read one of her books, but that is honestly how strongly I feel about it. Never, in all my many books, have I come across a character as understated yet complex as Miranda. At first sight, she appears to be a simple and quite ordinary society beauty, but how very wrong that assumption would be. As the story progresses, we see her develop into a fiesty, and then broken young woman, before she regains her spark. The journey she travels is so tangible you can almost feel the emotions pouring through the pages. And that brings me onto the strange Mr Hawes. He’s a character and a half. Awkward, rude and at times quite objectionable, yet I still felt endeared to his situation. I find him harder to describe, as he really is so different and out of the box that it’s refreshing against the standard ‘conformity’ to society norms you usually find in period novels.
Something else I think really needs mentioning is the fact that this book is hugely believable. I am a huge reader of historical books, I am a great history addict and I have to say, this book ticks every single box. It’s full of the little quirks you would expect to see in that time – the language, the traditions, the vacation spots. It’s all just sublimely weaved together to create a total immersion into this time. It is truly like reading a modern day Jane Austen, and I mean that as the highest compliment and the greatest praise for Lawrence. It is clear that there is a huge bank of knowledge behind this writing, and that makes it so much easier and enjoyable to read. Honestly, I can’t praise it highly enough!
At the risk of repeating myself, I am going to touch briefly on the plot for my final batch of comments because I am left slightly astounded and speechless with this book. The plot is amazing. Put very simply I know, but it is just exquisite in it’s development, it’s execution and it’s whole story is just perfect. I don’t say that very often about books, but this is so worthy of the mention. I’m just, well, struggling to put in to words exactly how much I loved the way the story developed. The twists and turns, sudden changes, and eventually the happiness we’ve been searching for from the start, it was all woven together with immense skill and understanding for the genre and that made it such an easy book to get lost in (in the best possible way).
In conclusion, just in case you didn’t grasp it earlier in the review – I freaking loved this book! It was fantastic from start to finish. A great pace, wonderful characters and a delightful storyline that kept me hooked from page one. The only thing I didn’t like is the fact it had to end! I cannot recommend this highly enough and I will be looking forward to devouring more of Elizabeth Lawrence’s offerings as soon as I possibly can.
--Lily Loves Indie, December 9, 2013
--R.E. Hargrave, December 31, 2013
As a self-proclaimed bibliophile, I’ve always enjoyed a variety of books. In my lifetime, I’ve read, and enjoyed mind you, many of the greats: Shakespeare, Poe, D. H. Lawrence, Austen, and Hawthorne, to name a few. Dickens was always a little tedious for me, to be honest. Of course, I’ve enjoyed the more modern writers such as King, Stephen Donaldson, Diana Gabaldon, and Anne Rice, as well. The point I’m trying to make is that I have an appreciation for the written word, and when I sat down with Elizabeth Lawrence’s The Truth Seekers, it didn’t take long to realize another great was in my hands.
How often does a reviewer find themselves having to Google information before penning their review? This is the level that Lawrence took me to with her novel. The whole time I was reading about Geoffrey Hawes and Miss Miranda Claridge, there was something that was eluding me. Victorian romances I’d read in the past were always enjoyable, but there was something . . . more . . . about The Truth Seekers. Something that resonated within and told me how unique this modern day offering of a style gone by was. Then it hit me with the power of this passage:
For one long moment, he was paralyzed by his complete astonishment. Then, in a sudden surge of activity, he was on his feet and running. He burst out onto the street, his lungs heaving in great, greedy gusts of air as he dashed past tourists and street vendors, heedless of the cries of irritation that followed his mad, careening flight. His relentless pace was that of a desperate man whose last opportunity for salvation was about to slip through his fingers as he raced up the steps of Miranda’s lodging house and beat upon the door. He was at first unable to make himself understood by the answering servant, and the delay caused by this miscommunication was agony to him. At last he ascertained Miranda’s whereabouts and charged up the stairs to her rooms without any thought for the propriety of his behavior. He flung her door open, not bothering to knock, and it crashed open with a thunderous reverberation. ~The Truth Seekers
While the hero’s point of view is common enough in modern day romances, it was not the norm for that period in history. I googled it; because I started second guessing myself! What a bold and brilliant move by Lawrence.
From the first page the reader is sucked into Geoffrey’s head; we get to experience all the turmoil of his forward thinking beliefs (always the way with eccentric novelists) and how they almost become his downfall. Through his eyes, Miranda Claridge is seen much like a morning glory: so fragile, yet so full of life and glorious as she opens to the possibilities each new day brings, then withering and closing under the extreme heat of the afternoon, i.e. Society.
I could continue to elucidate how wonderful this novel is. Allow me, instead, to suggest that if you have even the slightest fondness for a well-told romance that will leave you guessing until the end if the ‘guy gets the girl,’ then don’t wait. The Truth Seekers is a modern day masterpiece which will win you over faster than a suitor come calling, and one that I will proudly display next to my cherished copies of Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and The Stand.
Bravo, Ms. Lawrence. Bravo.
I fell in love with period stories when I was younger and that love stayed with me, so when I was given the opportunity to read this novel, I jumped at the chance. I have always been somewhat wary about how well an author could pull off a period story, but that was not the case with this author.
From the first page, I was drawn into the story and at many points in the book, I felt as though I was actually with the characters. That’s a rare thing for me and it goes to show how extremely talented and hardworking this author is. Everything down to the finer details were spot on and not once did I feel as though there were any errors in the timing or language of the book.
The characters, Miranda and Geoffrey, were very easy to relate to and I think they will be the couple that will stay with me for a very long time and I will happily re-read this book over the coming years.
Thanks to this author, my love affair with period romances will continue and I can’t wait until she releases something else that I can read with so much love and passion.
--J.C. Clarke, December 16, 2013
There is no doubt in my mind that Ms. Lawrence can pull off a historical romance with flair and grace, and she delivered a wonderful period piece, surpassing my expectations.
--Lorenz Font, December 11, 2013The Truth Seekers is a mix of elegant prose, laugh out loud Victorian courtship and larger than life characters. Ms. Lawrence did not hold back on vivid descriptions, thought provoking dialogues and believable conflict. I can keep talking about the many reasons why The Truth Seekers is an excellent novel, but I urge you to read it and make your own judgment. This is not just a recommended read, it’s a must read.
This book was such a lovely change of pace from recent books that I've read. Not to say that the books I've read recently are bad, but the type and style of The Truth Seekers and the subjects and intrigue it lays out for the reader to enjoy are astounding.
The Truth Seekers takes the reader back to the literary styles the likes of Dickens and Brontë and brings new life to the past. The characters are interesting, and the writing is in such a way that you're drawn in to the novel. Simply reading the characters carry on a conversation with one another makes you feel as if you are standing right beside them looking on.
There is so much that takes place within the novel, and so many thought-provoking moments, that a mere review cannot do it the justice that deserves. You can find everywhere to purchase The Truth Seekers below, and it would make an EXCELLENT gift for the book reader in your life this holiday season.
--S.A. Jones, December 8, 2013
I was asked to read and review the ARC for The Truth Seekers by Elizabeth Lawrence by a friend of mine. She told me that I wouldn’t be disappointed so I agreed to help out. Little did I know it was a period piece, which I usually do not like or read. When I first started reading this story, I was thinking, ‘Great I’m going to have to force myself to read this to give a review.’ Little did I know that this story would reach out and grab me by the end of the first chapter and not let me go until the very last sentence! My friend calls Elizabeth Lawrence her ‘sensei’ quite often and now I understand why. Ms. Lawrence is the Queen of Angst. If you love angst, you’re going to love this story...
...You will be greatly moved by this story Ms. Lawrence has penned so eloquently. It is a beautiful love story that will keep you turning pages and asking ‘why, oh why, are they so pigheaded?’. It will be worth the frustration in the end I assure you. Very well done, Ms. Lawrence! You made me, a die-hard lover of suspense and supernatural novels, actually love a period piece and that’s saying something!
--Phantasy Graphic Design, December 5, 2013
Reviews for Wishing Cotton (July 2013):
"Wishing Cotton is a short story included in the Heat Wave: Beach Reads Volume Two. This is not a story that will send you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, it is more likely to make you stop and relax and think about the wishes you make in life.
Three young adults try to figure out what it would take to make their wishes come true. Through an experimental process they all make wishes and then see whose wish comes to reality. The plan was to then figure out what made that wish come true. By the end of the story they realize what it is that they need to wish upon to make their dreams into reality.
If you are looking for a story that will allow you a few hours of escape into a world of easy-going entertainment then this is for you. I think we all have wondered what it would take to make a wish come true. Maybe Wishing Cotton is the answer to that question.
The author did a wonderful job of transporting us into a carefree world of wishes with her excellent writing skills. It isn’t easy to give us a complete story in so few words and pages, but she was able to accomplish this goal. The characters were believable and lovable. I found myself making wishes of my own while reading this story. It is an example of beautiful writing and a skillful display of words to create a picture of dreams coming true."
--lifebecomesme, July 27, 2013
"Wishing Cotton is a short story included in the Heat Wave: Beach Reads Volume Two. This is a sweet and relaxing story about three young adults trying to figure out what they would do and see what it would take to make their dreams come true through a series of wishes and actions to see if they can make them a reality and how they were able to accomplish it.
This is a great lazy day escape into a story that will get you thinking about what you still want out of life and how you can possibly accomplish it.
The author did a wonderful job of creating a carefree world of wishes in very few words with her excellent writing skills.
I highly recommend this creative short story."
--Wyndy Dee, July 28, 2013
"Wishing Cotton is one of the three short stories featured in the Heat Wave Beach Reads. When the publishing house offered a chance to read and review Ms. Lawrence’s story, I knew I had to jump at the opportunity. Although the author gave me a fair warning that this might not be the sort of material I would usually read, my main focus was to get my hands on any material the woman I consider my Sensei has written.
Without any idea what to expect besides the running joke between the author and myself, I went ahead and finally sat down to read. At the very beginning, I can see how the author’s crafty mind began spinning the story with light moments filled with funny interjections. I plowed on, wanting to see where the plot would turn, long after the three characters had been introduced and their personalities had emerged.
Olive and Blair are friends looking for a quick getaway and Peter is trying to forget his professional debacle. All of them made a wish without realizing that they had done so until each of their deepest desires came true. Does wishing on a dandelion puff, throwing a coin in a wishing well or birthday candles actually work? Or is it just sheer willpower to accomplish the reality they seek?
The author might have intended for this story to be an easy read, but she somehow managed to make me think deeper, and consider whether things I deem trivial actually hold the key to my happiness. All I have to do is invest a little time projecting the goal I’m aiming for."
--Lorenz Font, August 1, 2013
Ever wish upon a star for something you've always wanted only to be disappointed when your wish didn't come true? How about that lucky rabbit's foot? For Olive and Blair that has been the case. So while sitting on their vacation, they decide to make it a little more interesting and do an experiment by wishing for something different everyday using different techniques, wish upon a star, on a four leaf clover, you name it they wished on it. They decided to keep track of their wishes and still nothing continues to happen.Peter Keyes is on vacation as well. He's there after the failure of his last book and needing a break. All he wants is to find his way back and have success with a book he's always wanted to write. Peter unknowingly does the same thing as the two women, makes a wish.When the three of them meet, will their wishes come true? Or will their experiment be just that?I thought this story was cleaver. It was short and just the right length and I didn't even see the ending coming. I would recommend this story to anyone looking for a short lighthearted read, 4 stars!
--Rose's Book Blog, August 2, 2013
"Wishing Cotton is a walk down memory lane for me. Have you ever wished on a star? Olive Alexander asked this same question to her best friend, Blair Adams, while vacationing together. The question brought forth a debate amongst the two, and they decided to try a little experiment.Enter Peter Keyes, an author who is getting away from it all after his most recent book flops—big time. Unbeknownst to the others, all three make wishes of their own... wishes about life or love. When their wishes all come true, they're left with trying to figure out what their wishing objects have in common.This was a cute story that brought back memories of all the times I wished on a falling star or anything else that made sense at the time. It gives the reader hope that there is still magic out there in the world. While not one what I would normally read, I found it to be well written for the most part. There were times when it seemed as if the author's vocabulary was a bit advanced for the target reader, but overall, it was a decent read and a walk through the past."
--The Hive Book Reviews, August 5, 2013
Reviews for My Apple Tree (September 2012):
"I loved the simplicity and honesty of this story. Also, one of the best lines out of all four is “He was surprised to discover he wanted to kiss his best friend a bit more than he ever wanted to go fishing.” I went through an entire repertoire of emotions whilst reading this story and commend the author on managing this."
--Mich's Book Reviews, September 20, 2012
"I made the mistake of not having my tissues handy when I began to read this. A mistake I quickly corrected.
Lawrence starts out by creating a beautiful love story of Katie, David, and their apple tree. Katie, only months younger than David, grew up with him as his neighbor and life long best friend. David is convinced at just five years old that he will marry Katie and continues to reiterate it to his mother over the years. After the two graduate high school, David asks Katie to be his wife under their apple tree and she accepts.
Tragedy takes Katie away from David and grief takes a tight grip on his heart and soul for years.
Lawrence then introduces Emily, Mel for short, to the story. With a few issues of her own, Mel is able to connect to David no one has been able to in years. I love how realistic Lawrence writes David, his struggle to overcome the loss of Katie and his true devotion to work through his grief to be with Mel.
This is a short story, but one that will stay with me for a long while. Love stories like this one don’t come along everyday. It’s beautifully written and pulled me in from the very first paragraph. Bravo!"
--Lindsey Gray: Author on Author Book Review, September 21, 2012