2016 Reviews · fantasy · historical fiction · Scotland · timeslip

Book Review: Tapestry by Fiona McIntosh

tapestryBook blurb:

In 1978, Jane Maxwell is celebrating her engagement to Will, a handsome American geophysicist, but though she should be deliriously happy, she is plagued by doubts. When tragedy leaves Will hanging between life and death, Jane’s guilt makes her determined to save him … somehow. In 1715, the Earl of Nithsdale joins the doomed Jacobite rebellion for Scottish independence. But the cause is lost and the Earl is sentenced to be beheaded. On a desperate and dangerous quest to find some answers, Jane finds herself swept away and trapped in the past. Convinced that saving Nithsdale will also save Will, Jane embarks on a daring and audacious plot to rescue the Earl from the Tower of London. Past and present become entwined in a gripping race against time – and both will be changed by one woman’s determination …

Bestselling author Fiona McIntosh brings her inimitable storytelling skills to this thrilling time-slip adventure packed with action, romance and one of history’s most daring escapes.

My review:

I’ve read a number of reviews since finishing Tapestry by Fiona McIntosh and many of these reviews seem to compare Tapestry to the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I actually did not like this series and I also loathe time travel books in general. However, I will say I loved Tapestry, it really worked for me as a time slip book.

Tapestry is a departure from the historical fiction novels I have come to enjoy in the past from Fiona McIntosh. Tapestry stitches together a cross section of genres, from McIntosh’s claim to fame historical fiction genre, along with a touch of fantasy, magic and romance. Together, these genres compliment each other just so, joining together to form one unforgettable storyline. The action of the story leaps between two time frames, the 1700’s, along with the year 1978. At the heart of these two stories is female protagonist Jane Granger. In the late 1970’s, the reader meets Jane Granger. Jane is an affluent young woman, living in London with her dashing fiancé Will Maxwell. One fateful night, Will is involved in a heartless attack that leaves him in a coma. Jane is bedside herself and decides that in order to bring Will back to life, she needs to go on a spiritual pilgrimage. This leads her to investigate Will’s specialty as a top geophysicist, to one of the world’s most powerful ley lines site. Consequently, Jane finds herself far away from London, in the middle of Uluru, seeking meaning and strength. Here, something very magical happens and Jane finds herself transported to the year 1715, in Scotland. In Scotland, Jane finds herself playing an important pawn in the fate of those around her, who are under the threat of high treason. Tapestry is ultimately a story of strength and survival, as Jane battles in both time frames to save the lives of loved ones.

Tapestry is a novel that successfully merges two very different time frames and genres, with the overall effect being a compelling novel that I lovingly devoured over two days. For the time I spent with this book, the pages seemed to melt away and I found myself completely immersed in the story. Often it can be hard to successfully pull of a time slip novel, but McIntosh shows the reader her star power.  I did not feel at any point in this book that it suffered from clunkiness, especially as there were some significant narrative shifts. McIntosh definitely has a wonder with words, her writing is like a magnetic force, constantly pulling you into the story. In Tapestry, I felt McIntosh displays how well versed she is in understanding her historical setting. It is conveyed with authenticity and a strong sense of place. I know and trust that McIntosh has walked in the very footsteps of the settings her characters fill, through her convincing prose.

The characters in this novel, both in the past and the 1978 storyline, are well formulated. Jane is a strong heroine, whom I will not forget in a hurry. The male protagonists are also well crafted by McIntosh. The romance that follows these characters made my heart skip a beat more than a few times while reading the novel. When I reached the ending, the direction it went in came as a surprise for me.  I ended up loving the journey Jane went on, despite having to suspend a fair amount of belief in the time travel elements of the story.

Tapestry is a book that will take you on adventure you will never forget. It is a book that fuses together a number of genres, with a wonderful sprinkling of magic. Tapestry is another solid read from one of Australia’s best storytellers.

4.5 stars

Tapestry by Fiona McIntosh was published on May 1 2014, by Harper Collins Publishers Australia



7 thoughts on “Book Review: Tapestry by Fiona McIntosh

  1. Hmm, that sure sounds like something I don’t normally read, I’m definitely not a fan of fantasy or magic unless the book is well crafted (eg. Harry Potter) but I must admit I do enjoy a storyline that incorporates time travel although as yet have never read a timeslip book I’ve only watched a time travel TV series which I adored. And reading your fabulous review, Amanda, I know I’ll love this book as much as you did!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Sue,

    Thanks so much for reading my review and coming past to comment

    Tapestry is the type of book I also wouldn’t normally select to read. However, I urge you to give it a chance, it is well worth you time. I thought I would have a hard time believing the time travel bits, as I haven’t got on so well with time travel in the past (I dislike Dr Who, gave up on Outlander and really didn’t warm to The Time Travellers Wife). I was prompted to read this after listening to Fiona speak about it during her author event, the story behind it was a joy to hear. Fiona’s passion for history and authentic setting, as well as her ability to deliver great stories bursts out from the pages of this book. I actually have had this poor book sitting on my TBR shelf gathering dust since 2014, my regret is I didn’t pick it up sooner! I’m saving my copy of The Chocolate Tin to read over the Xmas break. I can’t wait.


    1. Hi Amanda,

      I’ll always try to read your reviews and comment on them as I find them very interesting. And I find it fascinating seeing what books you’ve read and I get to read books I normally wouldn’t give a second glance. So thanks for taking time writing reviews and for that awesome Book Date Blog! I loved the old Dr Who series and my favourite TV series was The Time Tunnel from the 60s and Quantum Leap. So I’m 100% sure I’ll love Tapestry. I’m also a massive fan of American Sitcoms and American crime series and I adore Australian movies actually anything Australian!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Amanda,

    I have Tapestry on my bookshelf to read. I love Fiona McIntosh’s books. I also have The Chocolate Tin that I hope to read soon.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ellen,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment on my review.

      I do hope you manage to read Tapestry very soon, it is a great read. I’m so glad to hear you love Fiona’s books. Do you have a favourite? I also have the Chocolate Tin – a signed copy by Fiona to read. I’m saving it for the Christmas break.

      Best wishes and happy reading,


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Amanda
        My favourite book of Fiona’s so far is The Perfumer’s Secret. I’ve also read some of her fantasy. I loved the Valisar Trilogy.


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