The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst

The Illumination of Ursula FlightWithin the last few months I have started to really get into historical fiction with strong female leads; women who are modern for their time & whom totally rock their corsets. The Illumination of Ursula Flight is yet another one of these incredible books & I’m so pleased to add Ursula to my list of favourite historical (alas, fictional) women!

I received this book from Atlantic Books in return for an honest review.

This book includes sexist slurs, detailed sex scenes & marital rape.


If you’ve read & loved Elijah’s Mermaid by Essie Fox, The Pharmacist’s Wife by Vanessa Tait, She Be Damned by M. J. Tjia &/or The Mermaid & Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower then don’t even bother to read this review –  add The Illumination of Ursula Flight to your ever-growing TBR immediately! Ursula fits in with the leads in those books fantastically; I would love to get these gals together in one room to feel the feminist power & pure intelligence that would emanate from all of them.

Can you tell that I loved this book? Well if you couldn’t, I did. I loved following Ursula’s life – sometimes books like this, that take you on a journey through someone’s life, are so refreshing & addictive; & this was one of them. The book starts in Ursula’s childhood, which involves her & her best friend/maid running wild through the woods near their home, the book then moves on to when Ursula is forced into a betrothal with a man older than her father, the death of her father, her loveless & boring marriage to said older-than-her-father gentleman, an affair of passion & childhood love, through total despair & ends with all of Ursula’s long-held dreams coming true. It’s a bloody fantastic story & I came to very much love Ms. Flight by the end of it.

The writing in this book left me a little unsure at first, but once I was used to it I was able to really appreciate how much effort had been put into creating Ursula’s voice. Often, in historical fiction novels of this kind, the main character speaks very modernly – even if a lot of research has gone into the time period the story is set in, & this is often done to help the reader to connect to the protag. But, Ursula’s voice was clearly the product of a lot of reading into the past & I really appreciated the effort that had gone into this as it made me feel like I was reading the diary of a woman born in the 1600s, thus making the whole experience a lot more emotional. And seriously, the emotion I felt during this read was ridiculous – Ursula’s feelings freely flowed out of the pages & into my mind, to the point where I was genuinely feeling everything Ursula was… because of this Ursula became almost tangible to me & by the end I genuinely felt like I knew her.

Whilst I’m touching on the research; I loved the settings in this story too – this time period, & the 250 years before it, is my favourite time in English history so books set in these times really pull me in. Crowhurst did a brilliant job of helping me imagine the places Ursula visits during this story & I loved the small details that were often mentioned. The descriptions often felt very honest, which is a strange way to describe them, but I’m sticking to it – they felt real, like Crowhurst was describing places she’d been to herself.

As for the story itself, it was interesting throughout; even when Ursula was living through the boring period of her life *ahem*her marriage*ahem* I was still thoroughly invested in the book; I didn’t want to put this story down & was always excited to pick it back up again. There were a few twists & surprises thrown into the mix as well, which is always great, & although I could predict where the book would eventually end up, the ending was still a pleasant read. When I finished the book I was very sad, & despite being in the middle of a different book now, I still find myself missing Ursula & her antics. I would absolutely love to host a character interview with Ursula; so Anna-Marie, if you ever read this please think about it!

Atlantic Books genuinely do spoil me with some fantastic titles & I’m forever grateful to them for it – I really did enjoy this book & would love it if you picked it up yourself. You Add to goodreadscan order the book using the links below. If you use the Amazon or Book Depository links to make a purchase I will receive a small fee at no cost to you, so please consider doing so. | | Book Depository | Waterstones | Wordery

Unfortunately, this title is not available on Audible, which sucks because I’d love to hear Ursula’s voice!


One thought on “The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst

  1. Pingback: 2018 Yays & Nays – Writing with Wolves

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