The Tissue Veil – A book review
What if you discovered a hundred-year-old diary under your floorboards – and then found references in it to yourself? Or if you lived in 1901, yet kept seeing glimpses of a girl from modern times? And what if both of you had problems that only the other could really understand? Emily and Aysha live in the same Stepney house and an inexplicable link develops between them, fuelled by Aysha’s discovery of a journal and Emily’s sightings of a ‘future ghost’. Each takes courage from the other’s predicament – after all, what’s a hundred years between friends?
I really don’t know where to begin when writing this book review. Every now and then you pick up a book that totally captivates you and your imagination. This book did that for me.
The story follows the lives of two young ladies who although culturally different, both face challenges that effect them emotionally the same.
Emily (written in the first person) is a young girl living in the 1900’s. The story starts with her going out with her Mum to watch Queen Victoria’s funeral take place in London. It’s a wet, horrible day and although her Mum is unwell, they still head out.
Upon returning from the funeral they find a letter informing them that Emily’s older brother has died at war.
This devastating news is only the start of what ‘s in store for Emily. Soon her mother becomes unwell and sadly passes away leaving young Emily alone with only her busy father and housemaid for company.
Emily dreams of being a teacher but was taken out of school at 14 to help at home. Now her dreams of teaching seem a million miles away after such trauma of losing her brother and mother.
Aysha, (written in third person) is a little older than Emily. She lives in the 2000’s in the same house that Emily lived in years ago. Aysha lives in a strong Muslim household and feels she can’t be herself. Aysha has dreams of attending university but her brother and mother have a very different life planned for her.
Aysha, like Emily has trouble ahead. With an arranged marriage, a father who is unwell and a forbidden love for a non Muslim boy. Aysha feels lost, misunderstood and lonely, that is until she finds a journal written by Emily a hundred years ago.
With some unsavoury characters making there way into both girls lives, we find that although they never meet they are both supporting each other.
When reading this book I found myself waking in the early hours to read a bit more, it’s addictive reading.
I loved how the author effortlessly entwined both timelines, cultures and stories. You can see a lot of time and research has gone into this novel.
The book reminds me of the movie The Lake House. Two different people in different times, connected by a house and a journal. The book is beautifully written and I truly believe it is an award winning novel. I really hope they make this book a movie.
You can purchase this book here –
Author Bio –
Brenda studied English at university and later qualified as a librarian, working in various educational settings from schools to higher education. Moving from London to Frome in Somerset in 2010 proved a catalyst for her own writing as she joined local fiction and script writing groups. She has had a number of short stories published, plus short plays produced in local pub theatre, but all the while was incubating a story based in the area of Tower Hamlets where she had worked for eighteen years. This germ of a story became ‘The Tissue Veil’.
Brenda is a founder member of Frome Writers’ Collective, an organisation which has grown from a handful of members to over a hundred in the past four years, and helped set up its innovative Silver Crow Book Brand. She is also the current organiser of the annual Frome Festival Short Story Competition. A lifelong reader, Brenda rarely follows genres, but enjoys modern literary fiction, historical fiction, classics and the occasional detective novel. The latest Bernard Cornwell might be a guilty pleasure, but she’ll be even more eager to get her hands on Hilary Mantel’s final instalment of Thomas Cromwell’s story.