Siobhan MacGowan: The Trial Of Lotta Rae

This review is written with thanks to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read and review The Trial Of Lotta Rae.


On Halloween night, 1906, young working class Lotta Rae is attacked by a wealthy gentleman. She seeks justice at an Old Bailey trial alongside her barrister, William Linden, who she believes to be her ally.

The verdict is devastating and Lotta Rae soon realises the guardians of justice do not support her. But what none could foresee were the shocking consequences.

Twelve years later, as the suffragettes rise and the ghost of WW1 looms large over London, William is joined again by Lotta Rae. Now they will travel to a fateful destination, where truths must be faced and wrongs will be righted.

The day in court is done. But tonight he will hear her testimony.


For some reason, I seem to resist a lot of historical fiction, even though when it is written as well as The Trial Of Lotta Rae, it can be completely consuming and compelling. I chose to read this book almost on a whim, and I am so glad I did, as it turned out to be one of my favourite books of the year so far. MacGowan handles such strong emotions which are all described so beautifully that I could imagine myself walking alongside these characters, despite their lifestyle and beliefs being very different to mine. 

As the title suggests, the protagonist is Lotta Rae and I immediately felt so much sympathy for her, and in turn, hatred for the characters who did her wrong. I appreciated the sections where Lotta addresses William, as these allowed me to understand and connect with Lotta’s feelings. It broke my heart to read about what Lotta went through and my reactions were often very visceral as I desperately wanted to change things for her. 

The Trials Of Lotta Rae is very well researched and this made the novel feel very authentic. Although fiction, it was easy to believe that the events in the novel could easily be real and I think that is partly why I took Lotta to my heart so much. I will remember this novel for a long time to come. 

The Trial Of Lotta Rae is available from Amazon.

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