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Jane Sanderson Books In Order

Publication Order of Netherwood Books

Netherwood (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ravenscliffe (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Eden Falls (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

This Much is True (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mix Tape (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jane Sanderson is a bestselling historical fiction novelist from South Yorkshire. She was brought up in the small mining town of Hoyland and remembers living out her early years in a small terraced house with an outhouse and a tin bathtub. The family moved to a brand new bungalow when she was six years old and she then got to enjoy all modern conveniences. However, the years spent living in that run-down house early on greatly influenced her writing. She went to the local primary school alongside her sister Jackie before they proceeded to the Kirk Balk, a comprehensive school. Her schooling was a mixed bag of experiences but it was where she was first encouraged to hone her creative writing skills by Mr. Farrimond, then her English teacher. After graduating from high school, Sanderson went on to study English at Leicester University. While still in high school she had decided that she wanted to pursue a career in journalism and dreamt of working for “The Times” or “The Guardian.” Once she graduated, she found work with “Hardware Trade Journal,” an unglamorous trade magazine though it provided her with the foundation she needed in the field. Jane would then work for an Oxford paper before moving to London to work with “Hampstead and Highgate Express.” She then got a job with the BBC as a radio producer of the program “Woman’s Hour” and “The World at One.”

It was during her time working in London that she met and married her husband. She got her second child while she was with the BBC. Sanderson quit and became the stay at home mother just like many women at the time were doing. She made a lot of friends in her North London neighborhood during this time but had to leave in 2002 when she had to move to Herefordshire. Her husband Brian had bought a lovely old house in the rural countryside and just like that their lives had changed. Jane Sanderson still lives with her family, their chickens, and dogs in Herefordshire though she pops into London from time to time to visit friends. She credits the move to the country as the shot in the arm she needed to finally start writing a novel. With the children increasingly independent, she sat down and wrote her first manuscript. Her first attempt landed her an agent but it was not until she wrote “Netherwood” that she got Little Brown interested. Her debut novel was published in 2011 followed by “Ravenscliffe” in 2014.

Jane Sanderson’s family history has influenced her writing a great deal. She has asserted that it was her grandmother who first inspired her to become a novelist. It was her grandmother who made sure she did not have to depend on school dinner as she would prepare pastries, pies, and pudding for her when her mother was away in college. It struck her that when her grandfather had died in a mining accident her grandma could have easily turned her love for cooking into a lucrative business. But she was never like that and hence Sanderson invented her lead character Eve Williams of Netherwood to do just that. She also turned to her father who was working as an electrical engineer in the mines. He filled in the details about mining such as the signs of an impending collapse or explosion, the winding gear noises and the sounds of feet on the early morning streets. Obviously, she uses her imagination a lot in Ravenscliffe and Netherwood and many of her characters are figments of her imagination though they are inspired by the likes of Fitzwilliams of Wentworth. She never knew an Amos Sykes or Anna Rabinovich but she knew some men like him and knows her grandfather and her father knew similar people. She thus credits her family for giving her novels heart.

“Netherwood” by Jane Sanderson opens to Eve Williams about to learn how the rich live. Working from upstairs is Lord Netherwood, the owner of three very profitable coal mines in the locale. He has been increasing his wealth year over year without fail. He happened to strike upon very high-quality coal which is just as well since he has expensive tastes and his massive estate in the suburbs of town requires a lot of money to maintain. And that is not taking into account the fact that his daughters and wife are addicted to the latest fashions. His heir Tobias is a feckless and charming man but has the knack of always getting into trouble that his father has to get him out of. Downstairs is Eve Williams, the wife of one of Lord Netherwood’s most loyal employees. But then her orderly existence is brought crashing down when the twin disasters of charity and tragedy bring down the miner’s houses. Eve now has to depend on her talent and self-sufficiency to keep her children fed, which is when downstairs and upstairs bump into each other in a dramatic fashion.

“Ravenscliffe” the second novel of the series is set in Yorkshire in 1904, where Anna Rabinovich a Russian émigré is living on Netherwood Common. At the opening of the novel, she is showing a Victorian villa to her friend Eve Williams. The local stone-built house is named Ravenscliffe, and Anna has been trying to convince her friend Eve to move in with her as she feels that fate has marked it out as their house. As Anna gets down to work transforming the house into what she wants it to be, she starts developing an attraction towards Amos a union man. But then Silas who is Eve’s long lost brother comes into town and threatens to destroy the strong friendship between the two girls. In the meantime, Tobias Hoyland the feckless heir to Netherwood Hall is undermining the cherished traditions of the house. He is egged on by Thea Stirling his American bride. Downstairs, the hardworking servants strive to preserve the reputation and dignity of the family. But loyalties and values are rapidly changing both in Netherwood Hall and the outside world.

In Jane Sanderson’s “Eden Falls” we are introduced to a cast of extraordinary people whose drama plays out in the chaos of a contemporary world. The novel is set in 1909 Jamaica, where Silas Whittam the millionaire is struggling to achieve the dream of getting his luxury hotel profitable. He is relieved by the arrival of Eve Williams his sister who has made a name for herself making the best puddings and pies in Yorkshire. But as her sister begins to talk to the staff, she learns that Silas has a lot of secrets. Back home in England, the Countess of Netherwood and her husband the Earl are doing their best to keep up the façade of a happy marriage in the London social scene. But Lady Henrietta who is the suffragette sister to the Earl could spill the beans at any time to disgrace the family. Meanwhile, Amos Sykes the newest Labour MP is having it rough as his wife has to work on decorating the houses of the lords he plans on ruining.

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