My Friday Post: Mrs England by Stacey Halls

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

My book this week is Mrs England by Stacey Halls, a book I’ve borrowed from my local library through Borrow Box.

It begins:

Chapter 1

London, August 1904

I took Georgina the usual way home, east through Kensington Gardens towards Hyde Park. She had fallen asleep with a fistful of daisies, and I pushed the pram along the bridleway, nodding at the other nurses.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader. If you have to improvise, that is okay.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

The room was dark; the curtains closed. In the shadows playing at the edge of the light I caught glimpses of iron bedsteads and wooden floorboards, white sheets and lumpen shapes beneath them. In the far corner before the window, at the foot of an empty bed, was a cot, covered by a length of lace suspended like a veil.

Mrs England is historical fiction about Ruby, a Norland nurse who moves to Hardcastle House in Yorkshire to look after the children of Charles and Lilian England, a wealthy couple from a powerful dynasty of mill owners. It’s described as ‘a portrait of an Edwardian marriage, weaving an enthralling story of men and women, power and control, courage, truth and the very darkest deception.’

I think I’m going to enjoy this book. What do you think? Does Mrs England tempt you too?


  1. Ooh this sounds very intriguing, like we’re going to really see class difference and all those different themes coming together to weave something of a mystery! I must say the F56 is kinda frightening when you look at the almost idyllic tone of the opening! I hope you have a lovely start to the weekend and do drop by my Friday post if you have the time! – Juli @ A Universe in Words


  2. It does sound good. I recently read her former book “The Foundling” and it was very good. She writes very well, I noticed her language straight away; I do like a well-written book. The ending of the foundling was disappointing though, so I hope this book has a better ending. Hope you enjoy. Kat x


  3. This does sound interesting, Margaret. That ‘sort of outsider’ perspective on the marriage is interesting, and I do like stories where we get a sense of the time and place. I hope you’ll enjoy it.


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