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The Memory of Midnight

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  679 ratings  ·  94 reviews
One hot day in Elizabethan York, young Nell Appleby is trapped in a wooden chest, and a horror of the stifling dark -- and of the man who trapped her - dogs her for the rest of her life. Wed to the sadistic Ralph Maskewe, Nell must find joy where she can, until the return of her childhood sweetheart offers a chance of flight to the New World. Will Nell risk all to escape t ...more
Paperback, 470 pages
Published October 10th 2013 by Pan Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  679 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was so engrossed in this book I couldn't put it down until I had finished!
The morphing between time zones was very well done. At first I sarcastically thought great this is just an adult Tom's Midnight Garden, but then they started changing at different times of day and it just got so much better and quite unique!

I would have given it 5 stars however two of the characters in particular almost ruined the book entirely! The relationship between the main character and her mum was disgusting to
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book frustrated me immensely. First off, the good, I liked the story of Nell. She was a strong character, but a horrendously sad and tragic story, certainly doesn't leave you with a warm glow. Secondly, the character of Tess frustrated me. I didn't really feel comfortable with the regression business, but she frustrated me anyway. She needed a bloody good shake and to be told to sort herself out, she was a mum to a young boy for goodness sake. She just wouldn't stand up for herself, and kep ...more
Maria Grazia
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a great, gripping mystery story. I loved reading it for two main reasons: it is set in an English town I love for its beauty and history, and it conveys with vivid realism the stories of two extraordinary ordinary women.

The supernatural element, a constant travelling through time, is the device Pamela Hartshorne chooses to connect the two story-lines. The narration quickly shifts from Elizabethan York and Nell's hard, tragic life enlightened only by her passionate love for Tom, to presen
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
After reading and enjoying Times echo, i couldn't wait for the next one....

I was not disappointed and infact found this even better than the first. Nell and Tess were very compelling characters. Luke and Tom equally as loveable and enthralling and the rogues Martin and Ralph scared me :-)

This novel seemed more atmospheric and scarier than the last and cannot wait for the next novel.

a memory of Midnight kept me reading through the night and had echoes of a good Barbara Erskine novel... My only d
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
Gripping! That's the perfect word to describe this book.
I picked it up looking for some light romance and got a unique and thrilling mystery instead.
This is the story of 2 women centuries apart who struggle with abusive husbands and try, each in their own way to find safety for themselves and their children. Nell from the 16th century has to find joy in the small things of life while at the beck and call of a sadistic husband who gets his pleasure only from the pain of others. And Tess in our t
Quick, easy read. The chapter divisions seemed a bit random to me, and Martin's character at the end was a bit...well, the whole way through we kept hearing he had shady contacts, but it was never explained why or how...
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I love books like this that transport you back in the past and also the present. I was so involved with the characters and the story that I couldn't read and turn the pages quick enough. I will definitely be looking out for other books by Pamela Hartshorne.
I stopped reading this just over half way through. I really didn’t care about any of it. The characters were boring and one dimensional, the story (which should have been interesting) managed to be flat and dull, and for me, it was written too much like a clichéd piece of “chick-lit” to have any sort of credibility. It’s not even quick and easy to read as it flits between characters but the author deliberately blurs the line between them so you’re not sure which one you’re reading about. Which i ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
There was nothing objectively wrong with this book, but it annoyed me in several ways. First off, I didn't really see the connection between Nell's life and Tess', apart from the fact that they both had terrible husbands. So why was Nell connected to Tess? What was going on exactly? Those questions weren't answered, which would probably have been okay if I'd gotten sucked into Hartshorne's universe to the point where I didn't mind a bit of unexplained mystery, but that never really happened eith ...more
Apr 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I DNF'edat over 25% if i still dont care about anything after a quater off all the story then I refuse to waste my time with the next 75% i still won't care about. Cliche ridden, basically reading the same two women set in different time periods with no discernable characteristics, life doesn't revolve aroung describing how hot men are, the mother of the modern woman (whose name I still can't remember after over 100 pages that should tell you how interesting this book is) is everything wrong wit ...more
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I spent several hours on the sofa (in front of the fire with Christmas tree lights twinkling, very cosy) reading the whole of 'The Memory of Midnight'. I felt as if I was in a bubble unaware of everything else. Gripping is definitely the right word. I enjoyed it more than 'Time's Echo' although at times I don't know if 'enjoy' is the right word - it is definitely darker and more disturbing than Pamela's first novel - and the villain Ralph makes Francis from 'Time's Echo' seem like Prince Charmin ...more
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book was SO like her book "Time's Echo" (that I loved) that it was a waste of time reading this one! I feel completely cheated. A woman moves to an old house in York - SAME. Possessed/influenced by a woman from medieval York - SAME. More and more possession as the book progresses - SAME. Add in a husband like in the film "Sleeping With the Enemy" and there you have it. Nothing new in this book - if you read "Time's Echo" don't bother reading this one!

If I'd only read this book it would have
Rena Hereti Lyons
Aug 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Highly enjoyable in the style of Barbara Erskine, Diana Galbadon etc., switching from Elizabethan York to today. The historical part is well researched and dramatic and perhaps the best parts of the book, with a spunky heroine in a miserable life. The modern parts of the mystery, however, were extremely frustrating for me as I felt that Tess, the modern day heroine of the novel, who is haunted by the 16th century one, was a feeble- minded woman who was putting her son in jeopardy. Nevertheless, ...more
Bronwyn Mcloughlin
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Predictable but neatly enough turned out novel along similar lines to Barbara Erskine - the whole regression thing, travelling back in time and taking on the life of a tormented soul and trying to resolve the associated issues, in this case in Elizabethan York. Because it followed a familiar formula, I found it a little tedious by the end, especially with the parallel characters between eras, but it kept me hanging in there until the end I guess.
Kazimiera pendrey
I obtained a copy of this book from my local library in Mackworth. i was really looking forward to reading this book,as I had read the first book in the series which I had enjoyed a great deal. However i was a little dissapointed with this book as the plot itself was very like the plot in the first novel in the series. However it was still worth a read and i would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having previously read Time's Echo, also by Pamela Hartshorne I was disappointed that this was basically a repeat formula of her last novel, it was okay but I had already figured out the ending before I was half way through, mainly because having read her previous book I knowing how that ended. Preferred the subject matter in Time's Echo also.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Irritatingly written and incredibly depressing - relentless domestic violence and mental abuse throughout.

I could accept the dark historical storyline if the modern day characters hadn't been so cliche-ridden and irritating.

I thought about abandoning it half way through but continued to the end; hence two stars rather than one.
Lorna Braim
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
After buying The Memory of Midnight in Whitby Bookshop last week I did worry if this book would live up to the excellence of Patricia's previous novel Time's Echo I need not have! What a fantastic book! I read it over 2 days and have already passed it on:) looking forward to the next one.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked this book and how it transitioned between the two lives. It show how history can repeat itself

I read it and enjoyed it but it one of those books you read once because it will stay with you. I will say if you like this you will also love the book by Kate Mosses "labyrinth"
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous! Seamlessly written and emotional. The final chapters were incredibly tense and had me reading long into the night to finish. Will definitely read more books by this author.
Sara Giacalone
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was the second book I've read from Ms. Hartshorne, and while I appreciate that she used her scholarly research and her love of York to spice up her time slip novels, I find this one is seriously repetitive and predictable. Plucky heroine going through a lot in the modern era, check. Similarly plucky heroine going through even worse trauma in the Tudor period, check. Heroine has a child and either an absent husband or an abusive one, check. Heroine terribly worried about going MAD and being ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Set between medieval and modern-day York, England, The Memory Of Midnight tells the story of two women (Nell and Tess respectively) as they attempt to escape abusive, controlling husbands.

For Nell, York is a prison in which her husband is the gaolkeeper. Forced into the marriage to save her family from poverty, she is forced to endure all manner of brutalities, always hoping that her lost love will one day return to rescue her from the horror.

Tess' story is different. She marries for love - or,
Nicki Markus
Jun 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-historical
I have read a number of dual-timeline historical fiction works, but few blur past and present as completely as The Memory of Midnight. This is not a simple matter of Tess investigating the past, or even travelling back in time, rather she experiences Nell's world as if she were regressing to a previous life. At times I felt the parallels between the two women were a tad belaboured. I would also have liked more depth to a few of the characters. However, the mystery/action aspect of the tale worke ...more
Julia Bell
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely story and kept me engrossed throughout. The writing was beautiful with detailed descriptions of York both in Elizabethan times and the modern world. Since my children live in York, I recognised many of the places mentioned.
I felt the stress in Tess as she battled to keep her child safe from an over possessive husband and then Nell's story in the 1500's was very much a page turner. The links between the two times was a delight to discover and I really didn't anticipate the endin
Kirsten Fleetwood
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a mildly entertaining bit of supernatural fluff. The writing was horribly overwrought, though, and the ending - in particular Martin the modern villain's appearance and fate - was frankly ridiculous.
The author's historical expertise is evident, and I enjoyed the casually placed facts about life in Tudor York, but her characterisation was too simplistic and the whole book needed a firmer editor. And again, the ending was outrageously over the top.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WOW. Love, sadness, joy, torture, loyal, abuse, peace, domestic violence, compassion, fear, passionate, and disturbing events all in one novel.

It may be by far an interesting book for me. I love how it goes back through time smoothly which made me goosebumps especially on Nell’s story.
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked the story a lot and finished the book in 2 days as I wanted to know how it ended. I love stories that are intertwined between 2 periods so this was right up my alley. The ending was a bit over the top but still a good read
Hannah Marie
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this! I got so drawn into the lives of the characters - past and present - and it was a bonus that is was set in one of my favourite cities ever! I have loved all of Pamela Hartshorne's books, can't wait to read her new one.
Nicola Graham
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Did not finish. Gave up after 6 chapters. Not for me. I like my main protagonists with a bit more oomph.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
A very interesting read. Loved it!!
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After a haphazard early career spent working and travelling around the world, I started writing romance in order to fund a PhD in Medieval Studies. Naturally, that didn't turn out to be quite the easy option I thought it would be, but I did in the end complete a thesis on the street and the perception of public space in later medieval and early modern York in 2004. My research formed the basis of ...more