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Book Review: The Tenth Gift

Jane Johnson is a prolific writer of books for both adults and children as well as being a fiction book editor.

A trip to North Africa in 2005 investigating a long-buried family legend about the abduction of a family from a Cornish church by Barbary pirates in 1625, was the basis for her book, The Tenth Gift.

A book on Jacobean embroidery patterns gifted to the present-day main character, Julia Lovat, has shrouded within its pages an extraordinary diary of a young Cornish girl, Cat Tregenna, which calls to Julia to investigate Cat’s fate.

Cat just happens to be a very gifted embroiderer, with an ambition to become a member of the Broderers Guild.  She designs and begins an embroidery that she envisions will attract the attention of the Countess of Shrewsbury, yes Bess of Hardwick, hopefully setting Cat on her chosen path and away from the humdrum life she currently leads.

Fate and the Barbary Corsairs step in and Cat is not a compliant hostage.

Clashing cultures, Barbary pirates and the slave trade, a modern-day love story, and the suggestion of a restless spirit, all merge to create a truly gripping read – well worthy of a weekend’s reading indulgence.

Eminently satisfying offering a riveting read based on historical fact.  Exotic, dramatic, enthralling.

Published by Head of Zeus, 2020 and available on Kindle.

The Kindle edition I purchased also offered an Author’s Note, along with a Short History of Piracy: The Barbary Corsairs in Context – which I found hugely informative and a Source Material and Further Reading list – also worth investigating.





The Tenth Gift
Jane Johnson
A gripping historical romance, brimming with exoticism and rich imagery, centered around a book on Jacobean embroidery, an embroiderer with big dreams, and a 400 year time shuffle.

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