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Historical fiction set in Dickens’ London

  • Submitted: 10th April 2024

Estella’s Revenge – Barbara Havelocke

Historical fiction set in Dickens’ London – imagine a book that takes you back to Dickens time where his characters from one of his most iconic novels are walking around. Here we get to meeet Estella – adopted daughter of that Miss Havisham from Great Expectations.

What became of her? Who did she become? WHAT did she become?

The title of the book hits at something altogether deliciously evil……come with me inside the pages to find out…..

Map of locations in Estella’s Revenge

Historical fiction set in Dickens' London

 

BOARDING PASS INFORMATION

Destination : London

Author guide: Barbara Havelocke

Genre: historical fiction

Food and drink to accompany: beer in a goblet and oysters

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A novel to transport you to Dickensian London

 

Map of locations in Estella’s Revenge

You don’t have to have read Great Expectations first to have read this. Just know that the title is very apt – in Dickens’ novel, Estella is the adopted daughter of Miss Havisham, a rich woman living in Satis House. Since she was cruelly rejected on her wedding day when she was young, she has worn the wedding dress ever since in a bid to remember and wallow in her misery. No doubt, this has shaped Estella and given her a keen sense of revenge and what is wrong with the world. So, this novel reimagines what could have happened next.

The book is told in two timelines – here we see Estella and Miss Havisham in full force. Then, the present day Estella with her bitter and twisted ways having shaped her into the woman she has become. Seeing this through her eyes, given that she is not really the focus of Great Expectations, was intriguing and very well done.

Map of locations in Estella’s Revenge

The novel is one based on character and oh boy, there’s a lot of baddies, shifty ones and ones you really don’t want to meet in a dark alley. Pip – ah it was nice to see him again. In fact, it was so lovely stepping back into GE through Barbara Havelocke’s eyes and seeing it afresh. The author has obviously a great love and appreciation for Dickens and his world yet has crafted a whole new one of her own.

I’ve always wondered what happened to Estella. Some characters just stay with you and I loved Miss Havisham so this was a real treat for me to read. I savoured it, even put off Donna Tartt from the library to read it. Totally worth it.

The setting of gothic London, richly decorated houses with devious and dark people within is just a delight from start to finish. The dialogue is clever, the atmosphere immersive and dark and the characters intriguing and so vividly drawn.

I love  that Havelocke’s name even sounds Dickensian to me. (There’s a Sir Leicester Deadlock from Bleak House which is quite close)

Just brilliant.

Map of locations in Estella’s Revenge

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