Today is book release day for author Eloise Reuben and her debut novel, The Angel of Bishopsgate. I can’t help but be intrigued by a really gorgeous cover—I mean, just look at it! Eloise provided an excerpt to intrigue readers and also took a few minutes to answer some questions about the novel.
1. Tell us a little bit about your book, the Angel of Bishopsgate.
I love this book – it grew from a single writing exercise in which a young woman crept through the London slums at midnight to deliver a note to a stranger. These characters all emerged from wondering why she was there and where it would lead. It is a story about courage and survival – and being the underdog. I’ve always been drawn to stories about overcoming and rising above and this is one of those. It centres around Tessie O’Shae, a young Irish woman who has settled in the Old Nichol slums of London and survives by selling ginger cakes at the market. She and Finn, her husband, have only each other. Their ordinary lives are interrupted when the Angel of Bishopsgate tries to have her killed, leaving her alone and injured and separated from Finn. To get her life back, and find Finn, Tessie has to confront the past she left behind in Dublin, her feelings of shame and self-worth, of feeling alone in the world, and essentially has to decide between revenge and its cost.
2. What kind of readers will enjoy your book? (Readers who liked _____ would enjoy my book.)
I find it very difficult to compare my book to others, though readers who enjoy historical mysteries and thrillers, or anything a bit dark in the Victorian era will love this. I think it probably sits somewhere between Caleb Carr’s The Alienist and Jennifer Donnelly’s The Tea Rose, in terms of mood. Though readers who enjoy disappearing into worlds long gone, and real characters, with heart and courage, will definitely enjoy this story.
3. What can we expect from the next books in the series?
Oh, I can’t wait for share the ongoing adventures of Tessie and Finn. They have a long journey ahead of them. Book Two (The Black Bonnet) takes them back to Dublin where they are charged with the task of saving a woman who doesn’t want to be saved – Tessie’s Mother, They both learn when and how to let go of their past, confronting some of the figurative ghosts and memories they carry around. Finn’s personal story features more heavily with his family history coming to light, and Tessie and her mother have a reckoning that pushes them to the brink. In the third and final book of the series, Tessie and Finn finally make it to Boston in an effort to have the fresh start they’ve so longed for. Of course, it doesn’t all go to plan – it’s not so easy to escape the reach of the Angel of Bishopsgate, but I have hope for them yet.
4. Anything else you’d like to add?
Just that I’m truly excited and honoured to share this story with the world – they are characters I’ve grown to love and respect. They have more courage that I could ever hope to have – and I can’t wait to share their growth in the next few books also.
Jillianne Hamilton is the author of Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, its two action/comedy sequels, and The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII. She is also a graphic designer, a history enthusiast, and a dog mom. Learn more.