Yours From the Tower
Grade : A-

What a cracking, enjoyable read! A fun, sweet epistolary novel for younger readers that older ones will surely enjoy as well, Yours from the Tower takes you into a memorable summer just before the turn of the twentieth century for three enterprising, interesting young women trying to figure out who they are and where they belong.

Polly Anniston, Sophie Fanshaw and Tirzah Lewis are three best friends who have separated after leaving their boarding school. They’re eighteen, and are going about the business of trying to figure out their futures.

Tirzah is stuck in her grandmother’s Scottish home in Edinburgh. Acting as her companion, she is isolated from society and bored to death by the routine and formality required of her. Sophie is living with her aunt and uncle in London, attending a whirl of parties and dances in hopes of landing a husband – indeed, since she’s living her aunt’s generosity, it’s expected of her. And Polly has gone back home to Liverpool, where she’s taken up an occupation as a teacher at an orphanage. While living with her lower class family, she finds herself personally involved in the lives of several of her charges.

Things quickly become complicated for all three heroines. Tirzah is trying to figure out what happened to her long-missing parents, who abandoned her to her grandmother’s care at the age of seven, and explores her grandmother’s fusty domicile for clues. Polly becomes involved in the plight of Robert, Nicholas and Daragh, three brothers who have run away from their often-absent father and are unsure whether he’s alive or dead, and Sophie experiences all of the heartbreak and wonder of moving among the British social set, dealing with boys who may or may not be the right match for her. No matter what happens, the girls have one another to lean on.

This is a book that’s just perfect for tweens and older children, but will be enjoyed by adults looking for lighter fare. Yours from the Tower is filled with fire, romance, and wonderfully strong heroines who are imperfect but loving people. Polly is goodhearted and duty-bound; Tirzah is rebellious and filled with jocular humor, and Sophie is endearingly dry-eyed but yearns for love. All three of them find it with delightful partners who fit them and are deserving of their love.

The most important facet of the book is unstintingly their friendship, which is bolstering, protective, nurturing and realistic.

Nicholls does an impressive job not only distinguishing the three heroines from one another but also their suitors, relatives and assorted friends. That takes strong writing, especially in the extremely intimate and truncated letter writing format.

As this is an epistolary book, all of the action takes place in letters the three heroines send to one another, as well as telegrams and pieces printed in newspapers. This is handled well, with each facet popping to life in a wonderful way. The story is also researched with the utmost careful detail.

This is such a great story, and one readers everywhere should adore. Yours from the Tower is an enchantment that families ought to share.

Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes
Grade : A-
Book Type: Young Adult

Sensuality: Kisses

Review Date : February 2, 2024

Publication Date: 01/2024

Review Tags: Victorian epistolary

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Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
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