We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

The Ukraine, Russia and the Crimea are taking centre stage in the world today but this spellbinding story of courage and love takes us back to the original Crimean war.

Russia, 1854: the Crimean War grinds on, and as the bitter winter draws near, the battlefield hospitals fill with dying men. In defiance of Florence Nightingale, Rosa Barr – young, headstrong and beautiful – travels to Balaklava, determined to save as many of the wounded as she can.

For Mariella Lingwood, Rosa’s cousin, the war is contained within the pages of her scrapbook, in her London sewing circle, and in the letters she receives from Henry, her fiancé, a celebrated surgeon who has also volunteered to work within the shadow of the guns.

When Henry falls ill and is sent to recuperate in Italy, Mariella impulsively decides she must go to him. But upon their arrival at his lodgings, she and her maid make a heartbreaking discovery: Rosa has disappeared.
Following the trail of her elusive and captivating cousin, Mariella’s epic journey takes her from the domestic restraint of Victorian London to the ravaged landscape of the Crimea and the tragic city of Sebastopol. As she ventures deeper into the dark heart of the conflict, Mariella’s ordered world begins to crumble and she finds she has much to learn about secrecy, faithfulness and love.

Reviews

In her novel writen with great attention to detail and obvious affection for her characters and the time period, Katharine McMahon has penned a deeply affecting piece of historical fiction.
HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW
absorbing
MY WEEKLY
a heart-stopping tale of love and war during Queen Victoria's reign
WOMAN & HOME
A heart-stopping tale of love and war during Queen Victoria's reign
WOMAN & HOME
Absorbing
MY WEEKLY
In her novel written with great attention to detail and obvious affection for her characters and the time period, Katharine McMahon has penned a deeply affecting piece of historical fiction.
HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW
McMahon is a talented writer whose twists will keep you turning pages
THE LADY
Katharine McMahon is a great storyteller
Niamh Cusack
McMahon combines a thriller writer's grip, pace and punch with the true novelist's depth and warmth of feeling
GUARDIAN