Book Review: The Pearl Thief by Fiona McIntosh

Published in 2018 by Penguin Random House.

Genres: Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction.

Page Count: 500

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Severine Kassel is asked by the Louvre in 1963 to aid the British Museum with curating its antique jewellery, her specialty. Her London colleagues find her distant and mysterious; her cool beauty the topic of conversations around its quiet halls. No one could imagine that she is a desperately damaged woman, hiding her trauma behind her chic, French image.

It is only when some dramatic Byzantine pearls are loaned to the Museum that Severine’s poise is dashed and the tightly controlled life she’s built around herself is shattered. Her shocking revelation of their provenance sets off a frenzied hunt for Nazi Ruda Mayek.

Mossad’s interest is triggered and one of its most skilled agents comes out of retirement to join the hunt, while the one person who can help her – the solicitor handling the Pearls – is bound by client confidentiality. As Severine follows Mayek’s trail, there is still one lifelong secret for her to reveal – and one for her to discover.

From the snowy woodlands outside Prague to the Tuilieries of Paris and the heather-covered moors of Yorkshire comes a confronting and heart-stopping novel that explores whether love and hope can ever overpower atrocity in a time of war and hate.

My Review:

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Books Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

This was my first time reading a Fiona McIntosh book, and I daresay it won’t be my last! The author weaves such stunning stories and within conveys such potent imagery, here in 1963 London, coupled with flash backs to Nazi occupied Germany, made for such a powerful reading experience!

I’ve said it before, Historical Fiction for me is one of my favourite genres, purely because I feel like it allows me to take a step through time, and put myself in these characters’ shoes, let alone imagine a glimpse of the horrors that these people would have gone through.

Severine instantly intrigued me, I felt drawn to this character and felt like she had a mysterious aura about her, and I needed to know more.

Why was she so secretive?

As the story progressed, I was equally horrified for what Severine (as she goes by nowadays), but then learning about her true identity and the heartbreaking history behind how she got to where she is now, was just so sad, and you can definitley feel every inch of her pain and her reluctance to open up and convey those painful memories.

I was instantly memorized by the way Fiona McIntosh weaves the past and present together, as Severine meets Daniel, who is instantly drawn in by her (or does he have his own motives?) Well, you’ll just have to read the book and find out.

Daniel was a character that honestly up until halfway through the book, I was totally weary of. I didn’t know if he was playing on Severine’s trust to gain information, or if he was earnest in his frirbdship, but I had fun trying to piece things together as they were revealed! And the truth was indeed potent and emotional, I feel like these characters and this story will be one that’ll be sticking in my mind for time to come!

The prologue was instantly raw and powerful, and until a certain point in the book, I didn’t know how important those events would be for what was to come, but it was such a joy to see things come to pass! The emotions were and are real, as I’m still thinking about the revelation as I type!

This book has definitley made me want to check out Fiona McIntosh’s other books, for she captured so many emotions within this book: I felt such love at times for Severine and Edward, but at one tiny revelation I was shocked and horrified at something Severine confessed to get tormentor Ruda (I loathed him, but pitied him at times) and then wanted to weep for thinking what I thought! And Edward, what a character! I loved his interactions with Severine and his character development too, Daniels’ as well for that matter.

This was just such a beautiful and emotional roller coaster ride of a book, which looking back, I can’t find fault with, so thank you again to Penguin Books Australia for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Happy Reading,



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