FictionPandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman

Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman


Published today to great anticipation, Pandora took me completely by surprise. This is not your classical re-telling but a very commercial gothic Georgian mystery seeped in Grecian lore that I was totally immersed in. Fans of The Binding & The Essex Serpent will adore this!

As a huge fan of historical fiction & classics this was an excellent read, I loved the build up of anticipation, the developing relationship between the two main protagonists & the depiction of dark, brooding London with the constraints on a single woman’s ambition. The prose is vivid, creating a real sense of place & time that was really impactful.

The authors use of the historic fears around Pandora was clever & evocative, the pace picks up well and it isn’t dense or saturated with detail but accessible appealing to a broad range of readers. For all you special edition fans, the Waterstones iteration is exquisite! Thank you so much to @harvillsecker@penguinbooksuk for sending us the beautiful proof copies (Ad:PR Copy).

~ Chaya

I’m going to just say it — historical fiction is not my thing. It never has been. I blame the historian in me. I get all weird about the accuracy, the embellishment, what is fact and what just isn’t & sometimes it stops me enjoying what I’m reading. But what I do love in a big way are those novels where the Greek myths are the historical centrepiece — & I reckon it’s probably because I never studied the myths.

In cometh Pandora, a novel weaving that most famous of myths with Georgian London. Dora is our heroine; orphaned after a tragic excavation accident, she works in their shop of antiquities run by her uncle, dreaming of becoming a jewellery designer. When she discovers a Greek pithos, which young bookbinder but wannabe antiquarian scholar Edward Lawrence learns predates history itself, we find ourselves in for a rollercoaster of a ride. 

Atmospheric & compelling, I really enjoyed this one, particularly it’s cast of complex and intriguing characters. If you love historical fiction and mythology too, you will absolutely not be disappointed.

~ Sophie

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