Beverley Elphick

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The story is set in the late 18th century against a background of the three round towered churches of Lewes, Southease and Piddinghoe alongside the sullen and often dangerous River Ouse.

 

The tale is told through the eyes of Esther Coad who scrapes an uncertain living as a servant in the tiny village of Hamsey before fate brutally intervenes and a tragedy forces her to flee downstream to Lewes carrying an unwanted newborn in her inexperienced arms.  Alone and friendless, with no food for the child, Esther uses every ounce of her strength to protect the baby from the malice that surrounds them both.

 

A resourceful nature, and a compelling desire to provide for the child gives Esther the courage to go on and she seeks and finds friends in Lewes who stand by her when she is accused of murder and kidnap.  Smugglers and press gangs are part of her fight for survival but Esther's story could be that of any bright young impoverished woman of that period.

Historically, it was a time when the poor and friendless suffered a difficult existence with starvation and rampant disease never far away.

 

I have been inspired by the landscapes around my home town of Lewes and have tried to bring a sense of time and place to highlight a turbulent period of history.  I couldn't write a novel about Lewes without mentioning the bonfire traditions of that time.

 

Three Round Towers is not the end of Esther's story.

 

There will be a sequel.

 

Available to order at Troubador and Amazon and follow me on twitter @beverleymarieo