Love or Nearest Offer - Adele Geras Books

Cogito Books Review of Dangerous Women

May 27, 2022 by Adèle Geras

Cogito Books Book Club has reviewed Hope Adams’ Book, Dangerous Women

We enjoyed a wonderful discussion of Dangerous Women by Hope Adams at our Cogito Book Group. We were all inspired by the fact that the author built such a compelling, complex narrative around the true events leading to the creation of the Rajah Quilt.

We spoke about how cleverly the process of needlework, and the descriptions of the cloth pieces used, influenced the pacing of the narrative and what a brilliant device it was in slowly revealing the characters to the reader. We have a number of sewing and quilting enthusiasts in our group, and they found this aspect of the novel fascinating.

We also discussed at length the concept of transportation and the values of Empire which the novel’s central character, prison reformer Kezia Hayter, both espoused and subverted. She is superbly written, with her complex thought processes revealing an innate sympathy with the plight of the shipboard convicts and a need to assert her own values and opinions often in opposition to the male authority figures who threaten to dismiss them.

We found the idea of introducing a murder into the narrative worked exceptionally well; the necessity of an investigation into Hattie’s death precipitating profound changes in the dynamics between characters.

All these themes are explored with great sensitivity and contribute to an organic and utterly convincing work which is a joy to read, while at the same time being endlessly thought-provoking and cleverly plotted.

Hilary from the Cogito Books Book Club

Adèle Geras has published more than 100 books for readers of all ages. Her first book was Tea at Mrs Manderby's, which was published in 1976. Her first full-length novel was The Girls in the Velvet Frame. Other works include Troy (shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize and Highly Commended for the Carnegie Medal) Ithaka, Happy Ever After (previously published as the Egerton Hall Trilogy), Silent Snow, Secret Snow, and A Thousand Yards of Sea. Her novels for adults include: Facing the Light, Hester's Story, Made in Heaven, and A Hidden Life.

Adèle Geras


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I was born in Jerusalem in 1944 and spent my early childhood in many different countries because my father was in the Colonial Service. Before I was eleven, I'd lived in Cyprus, Nigeria, and North Borneo and later my parents were also sent to the Gambia and Tanganyika (now Tanzania)... read more.

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