When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Welcoming Virginia Crow and her book - The Year We Lived - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming Virginia Crow and her book - The Year We Lived - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

 I am delighted to share a review with you all, but first I will introduce the book.

The Year We Lived

It is 1074, 8 years after the fateful Battle of Hastings. Lord Henry De Bois is determined to find the secret community of Robert, an Anglo-Saxon thane. Despite his fervour, all his attempts are met with failure.

When he captures Robert’s young sister, Edith, events are set in motion, affecting everyone involved. Edith is forced into a terrible world of cruelty and deceit, but finds friendship there too.

Will Robert ever learn why Henry hates him so much? Will Edith’s new-found friendships be enough to save her from De Bois? And who is the mysterious stranger in the reedbed who can disappear at will?

A gripping historical fiction with an astonishing twist!

Publication Date: 10th April 2021

Publisher: Crowvus

Page Length: approx. 118,000 words – approx. 350 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CA Amazon AUBarnes and NobleWaterstonesKoboSmashwordsCrowvus

Now for the review -

Henry De Bois desperately wants to find the community that the Anglo-Saxon thane, Robert, has hidden so successfully from him for so many years. For reasons unknown to Robert, De Bois will do anything to find him and kill him, all the more reason to keep the community hidden and protected. His younger sister, Edith, doesn’t understand the severity of the situation fully, and when the Yule log appears to be dying, she ventures out to find some reeds to slow the burning. The last time the Yule log died prematurely was the year her parents died, and she doesn’t want the bad fortune to lay over the village and all the people she cares about so much. When collecting the reeds, however, she meets a boy, one who she desperately wants to meet again. When she disappears from the village, Robert can only assume it was this boy who has done away with her.

The horrors that Edith faces at the hands of her kidnapper, the dreaded De Bois, are heart wrenching to read about, and the contrast between her life in De Bois’ court and her life in her brother’s village is clear. At the start of this book, Robert confines her to the hall for a short time, to keep her safe from her own exploits. She longs for the outside, for freedom, but in the hall she is safe and her brother gives her back her freedom before long, assigning a guard to her to keep her safe. At De Bois’ court, she is mocked and abused, and there is no freedom looming like there was in the village. She is trapped and must do what she can to survive, for at home, the danger is outside. At De Bois’ court, the danger is inside the walls.

I greatly enjoyed reading about Edith, for although she is in an impossible situation, she still tries her best to protect her brother, to protect everyone that she loves. If sacrificing her happiness, her freedom, her future, is the price she must pay, so be it. She is a wonderfully believable character, as, even though she gives up so much for safety and protection, she still cares deeply and is affected by the things that befall her.

The twist at the end was definitely a shock, although I picked up several hints through the story as to where it might end up. For one, Robert is an excellent hunter, and if he can keep a community hidden in a village, what could he do outside of one? There are so many little hints throughout this story that point to the ending, without being necessary enough at the time to pick up on. The twist was written so wonderfully that I can’t believe how perfectly everything ties up together.

This novel is full of twists, unavoidable horrors and the desire for freedom, and I am very tempted to sit down again and make a note of all the hints I missed, just to see how many there are.

Virginia Crow

Virginia grew up in Orkney, using the breath-taking scenery to fuel her imagination and the writing fire within her. Her favourite genres to write are fantasy and historical fiction, sometimes mixing the two together such as her newly-published book "Caledon". She enjoys swashbuckling stories such as the Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and is still waiting for a screen adaption that lives up to the book!

When she's not writing, Virginia is usually to be found teaching music, and obtained her MLitt in "History of the Highlands and Islands" last year. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration. She also helps out with the John O'Groats Book Festival which is celebrating its 3rd year this April.

She now lives in the far flung corner of Scotland, soaking in inspiration from the rugged cliffs and miles of sandy beaches. She loves cheese, music and films, but hates mushrooms.

You can connect with the author via these platforms -






Amazon Author Page:


You can also learn more about the book and the author by visiting the other blogs on this tour.

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe.



Stomper McEwan said...

Thank you for hosting me and my book on your wonderful blog - I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! Thank you for the amazing review!

Mary Anne Yarde said...

I am so glad you enjoyed The Year We Lived.

Thank you so much for hosting today's tour stop.

Anonymous said...

This is such a great book. I am so glad you enjoyed it too.