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The Lamp of Fate   By: (-1948)

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In “The Lamp of Fate” by Margaret Pedler, readers are transported into a world where love, sacrifice, and secrets intertwine to create a captivating and compelling story.

Set in the early 20th century, the novel delves into the lives of two sisters, Cynthia and Joyce Barton. Although close in age, the sisters could not be more different. Cynthia is portrayed as the epitome of beauty, while Joyce is characterized by her intelligence and quick wit. Despite their contrasting personalities, the sisters share a deep bond that is tested throughout the course of the story.

As the narrative unfolds, the reader is introduced to a man named Dennis, an enigmatic and mysterious character who enters the sisters’ lives unexpectedly. Instantly, a connection is forged between Cynthia and Dennis, sparking a whirlwind romance that promises happiness and fulfillment. However, the arrival of Dennis also unearths a disturbing secret from the past, threatening to shatter the fragile equilibrium of their lives.

Pedler's writing is brimming with vivid descriptions that transport the reader to the elegant London society of the era. The author expertly crafts scenes filled with opulent parties, grand country estates, and intimate moments that further develop the characters and their relationships. Furthermore, Pedler skillfully intertwines historical events, such as the suffragette movement, within the narrative, adding depth to the story.

One of the commendable aspects of this novel is the strong characterization. Each character, no matter how minor, is brought to life with their own unique motivations and flaws. Cynthia, in particular, undergoes significant character development as the story progresses, evolving from a naive young woman to a strong and independent individual. Through Pedler's skillful storytelling, the reader becomes emotionally invested in the fate of these characters, eagerly turning each page to discover what lies in store for them.

While the plot unfolds at a steady pace, there are moments when it feels slightly predictable. However, the author’s lyrical prose and intricate attention to detail compensate for this, luring the reader deeper into the narrative. Pedler masterfully builds suspense, keeping readers on the edge of their seats, anxiously awaiting the resolution of the gripping secrets that surround the characters.

“The Lamp of Fate” is a delightful blend of historical fiction, romance, and mystery that will appeal to readers who enjoy compelling and well-crafted tales. Margaret Pedler’s ability to seamlessly weave together these elements makes for an engaging and ultimately satisfying read.

First Page:


By Margaret Pedler

Then to the rolling Heav'n itself I cried, Asking, "What Lamp of Destiny to guide Her little Children stumbling in the Dark?" And "A blind Understanding!" Heaven replied. The "Rubaiyat" of Omar Khayyam.


DEAR AUDREY: I always feel that you have played the part of Fairy Godmother in a very special and delightful way to all my stories, and in particular to this one, the plot of which I outlined to you one afternoon in an old summer house. So will you let me dedicate it to you? Yours always,






The house was very silent. An odour of disinfectants pervaded the atmosphere. Upstairs hushed, swift steps moved to and fro.

Hugh Vallincourt stood at the window of his study, staring out with unseeing eyes at the smooth, shaven lawns and well kept paths with their background of leafless trees. It seemed to him that he had been standing thus for hours, waiting waiting for someone to come and tell him that a son and heir was born to him.

He never doubted that it would be a son. By some freak of chance the first born of the Vallincourts of Coverdale had been, for eight successive generations, a boy. Indeed, by this time, the thing had become so much a habit that no doubts or apprehensions concerning the sex of the eldest child were ever entertained... Continue reading book >>

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