The Conviction of Cora Burns by Carolyn Kirby

Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: Random Things Tour


About The Book

Set in 1880s Birmingham, Carolyn Kirby’s stunning debut The Conviction of Cora Burns tells the story of Cora, a young woman born in a prison to a convicted criminal she never knew but from whom she fears she has inherited a violent nature. Perfect for fans of Sarah Schmidt, Anna Mazzola and Hannah Kent.
Cora was born in a prison. But is this where she belongs?
Birmingham, 1885.
Born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse, Cora Burns has always struggled to control the violence inside her.
Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of scientist Thomas Jerwood.
Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora…?
With the power and intrigue of Laura Purcell’s The Silent Companions and Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done, Carolyn Kirby’s stunning debut takes the reader on a heart-breaking journey through Victorian Birmingham and questions where we first learn violence: from our scars or from our hearts.

My Thoughts

This is a gothic tale, intriguing and twisted that will make you want to know more!
Cora is a strong female character, she hasn’t had an easy life, since she was born everything was complicated for her and now is she is the servant of the scientist, Thomas Jerwood, who is studying people’s behaviour… Since the beginning you can feel that Thomas is hiding something, what is he really doing? What secrets is he hiding?
The story of Cora is told between the past and the present, in a moment where woman were simply servants and had no power, Cora was the rat in the lab.
I am a science person, but I have to admit that science in the present is not the same as it was before, “scientists” didn’t had any rules to follow or sometimes morality on what type of experiments were doing. The author, Carolyn Kirby, has done an amazing work transporting the reader inside the story, you could almost smell the strange odours at the laboratory and feel Cora’s emotions on our skin. I am really glad I didn’t live during the 1880, it had to be so powerless not to have the chance to improve or change the fate of your life, where you were born it was where you lived the rest of your life.
This had been an amazing read, not only for the story of Cora but for all the surrounding plot, I really really advise you to take a chance with Cora Burns is worth the read!

About The Author

Originally from the northeast of England, Carolyn Kirby studied history at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, before working in public housing and then as a teacher of English as a foreign language. Her novel The Conviction of Cora Burns, begun in 2013 during a writing course at Faber Academy in London, won the inaugural Bluepencilagency Award and was a runner-up for the DGA First Novel Prize and the Mslexia Novel Competition, Carolyn has two grown daughters and lives with her husband in rural Oxfordshire.