My Kyrosmagica Review of Living in The Shadows


Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s 1969 and Mary Schormann is living quietly in Wales with her ex-POW husband, Peter, and her teenage twins, Richard and Victoria. Her niece, Linda Booth, is a nurse – following in Mary’s footsteps – and works in the maternity ward of her local hospital in Lancashire. At the end of a long night shift, a bullying new father visits the maternity ward and brings back Linda’s darkest nightmares, her terror of being locked in. Who is this man, and why does he scare her so? There are secrets dating back to the war that still haunt the family, and finding out what lies at their root might be the only way Linda can escape their murderous consequences.

I’d recommend reading Living in the Shadows by Judith Barrow. This particular novel is the third in the series, published by Honno Press: ‘Honno is an independent co-operative press run by women and committed to bringing you the best in Welsh women’s writing.’

The first two books are: Pattern of Shadows and Changing Patterns. I read Living in The Shadows as a standalone. Whilst it can be read as a standalone I’d recommend that you read it as part of the complete series.

51h2kATPa8L._UY250_   Layout 1  JUDITH BARROW

My review:

Without a doubt Living in The Shadows is a lovely family saga set in the 1960’s following the lives of three families, the Howarths, the Booths, and the Schorrmans. I really enjoyed this saga which reminded me of a TV soap (of the highest quality,) in so many respects.

To begin with I have to admit that I found it a bit daunting as there are a whole host of characters to get to grips with, and I made this worse for myself by not getting acquainted with them in the first two books! As well as this the novel is written in an unusual style with short chapters, telling the story from the viewpoint of individual characters. But, by the end of the book I felt as if knew all of the characters personally, and shared in their sad moments, worries and dreams. Judith has a talent for bringing the reader into the moment, employing the full use of all the sensory organs, creating a visual, and auditory delight. The dialogue flows well and all in all this is a very confidently written book. My favourite part of the story focusses on Victoria, a wilful young woman who runs away from her home in Wales to join a hippie commune. Sadly this decision ends up being far from a good one. The promises of freedom and happiness that she hopes for, turn out to be empty promises made by Seth, also known in the Commune as The Master.

As well as this there is a particularly villainous bad guy and the final few chapters are both sad, and riveting. 

My rating:

4 stars.

I was the lucky winner of a giveaway of Living in The Shadows via Brook Cottage Books Here’s the link to their post, and their review:

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13 September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Amazon UK kindle buying link:

Amazon UK Paperback buying link

Further links:


Have you read Living in the Shadows, or the previous books in the series?

Do comment if you have.

Bye for now, come back soon….








Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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21 thoughts on “My Kyrosmagica Review of Living in The Shadows

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      1. Yes! I loved it too. I was afraid it would be just chick lit (I’m not adverse to a small bit of well written chick lit) but it’s much more. I’m keeping my eyes open for stripy bumble bee tights!

  1. A lovely review. I’ve read all the three books in the series and enjoyed every one of them. I can also really recommend another of Judith Barrow’s books, Silent Trauma. Based on fact this novel is the story of how a group of women, linked by the effects of the drug DES or Stilboestrol, come together to raise awareness of an issue which has been swept under the carpet by the pharmaceutical companies and medical profession. Totally absorbing.

  2. Lovely review, Marje of what is a more unusual read for you if I’m not wrong. This definitely sounds like something I’d love to read but from book one! I’m off to take a closer look now. Many thanks for sharing.

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