Now published on Amazon!
“Australia... That’s where dreams come true.”
Dreams. Emily Saunders had plenty of those, although she had never countered on Australia being one. But now she shares Ernest’s dreams. They could do it. They could really do it. They could leave old England behind and start a new life, far away. However, the birth of Emily and Ernest's so desperately wanted first child had been traumatic and dangerous. Emily had not had the energy or the health to look after her precious little girl, nor did she feel the great emotional wave of love that other mothers felt because unfortunately, she was never given a chance to. Living in the same house as her husband’s family, Emily finds herself pushed to the background of young Lilian’s life. Ernest’s sisters will not let Emily be the baby’s mother, and her young daughter has been turned against her. But once they were in Australia, and Lilian was under her care, then Emily would be able to become the mother she knows she can be. But first, they have to get there. Determined not to see their dreams go up in ashes, Emily and Ernest make their plans and buy their tickets, but will fate and Ernest’s overbearing and obnoxious sisters stop this dream from becoming a reality? From the ringing bells of St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate Church to the temperate air of Adelaide, Australia, The Lost Seed of the Pomegranate by Gillie Bowen is the poignant and unforgettable account of Emily and Lilian Saunders' lives. What an emotional rollercoaster, The Lost Seed of the Pomegranate takes you on, and the fact that it is based on actual people made it all the more heartbreaking. I instantly connected with Emily. Emily is a wonderfully warm and caring woman who Bowen has portrayed with a graceful sensitivity and a vivid sense of realism. Bowen has with great care and diligence, told her ancestor’s story, and what a story it is. I was swept away by this tautly gripping and fast-moving narrative. Time ceased to matter as I became immersed in this rich tale of complicated family dynamics, and the hopes and dreams of a young family. Believe me, the pages of this book practically turn themselves. Bowen has captured the very essence of life during this era. Not only is this book rich in historical detailing and authentic to the period that it is set in, but it also captures the attitudes and perceptions of people during this time. There is a hierarchy to the family dynamics where one must respect their elders no matter what, which I thought came across as very real in the telling and very factual as to how things were. I thought the Saunders' family was fabulously portrayed. I was particularly interested in Bowen’s depiction of Twining Tea, and she allows us to catch a glimpse of what it was like at Twining’s during this era. I thought Bowen’s depiction of Mr Richard Twining was masterfully portrayed. I enjoyed reading about him and his company. As with all good stories, there is a villain in the tale, someone who makes your skin crawl. I despised Ernest’s sisters, Annie and Alice. Their cruel and vicious psychological manipulation of Lilian was absolutely deplorable. My heart bled for Emily as she desperately tried to form a relationship with her daughter despite the sisters unwanted and cruel interference. I did try to feel compassion for Annie and Alice, and I tried to understand the reasoning behind their actions, but to use a child in such a dreadfully selfish way made this very hard. I was fearful for Lilian’s future but also for Emily’s mental health. It was absolutely heart-wrenching. I enjoyed The Lost Seed of the Pomegranate very much. I think fans of Colleen McCullough's beloved Thorn Birds will find something highly appealing about The Lost Seed of the Pomegranate. I highly recommend.
Review by MaryAnne Yarde, The Coffee Pot Book Club multi-award-winning author of the International bestselling series, The Du Lac Chronicles.
A Fascinating Tale of Two Empowered Women
Based on real family history, Gillie Bowen tells the story of two strong women whose lives are intimately intertwined and who shape their own destinies in the Victorian era. She skilfully portrays a mother and her daughter who suffer from being worlds apart, both physically and psychologically. They have challenging decisions to make in times when new inventions and immigration to new worlds hold a prominent place. The author has succeeded in telling a heart-wrenching story in which lively dialogue is woven around fascinating bits of historical and scientific information. She brings to life the adventurous journeys to Australia, the hardships faced and the difficult dilemmas confronting women in the changing 19th century. We are drawn into the story at once, laughing and crying throughout, and hoping the tale will never end.
Review by Dorothy Paton, American & French Editor
Just finished it, cracking read.
Frank Moore, France & England
I just finished reading your book and I wanted to tell you how interesting I found it and how much I enjoyed the storyline. I was in tears reading the final page - what an ending, very sad but powerful! I think this is not only a really interesting family history but also a really well-written book. Emily and Lillian's fascinating stories are colourfully etched in my memory and they will stay there for some time, I believe. Well done, a really great achievement!
Anabel Hyman, Helmsley, North Yorkshire, England
The Lost Seed of the Pomegranate is an outstanding read! I am renowned as a slow reader with a 'sleep button' on my bottom - alas, this book made a liar of that reputation. I completed the 430-odd page book in just over three days. I was totally consumed from the very first chapter by the gripping and fast-moving narrative that gave power to the story of the lives of two Victorian women embroiled within an intriguing battle of family heritage versus personal dreams. The heart-wrenching emotional decisions and life-long consequences that unfold throughout the book moved me to reflect on my own circumstances in a way that no other book has done for longer than I care to remember. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
Nick Pinkerton, Brisbane, Australia