Fiercombe Manor Intl/E (2000)
Fiercombe Manor Intl/E (2000)
Author
Rating
3.72 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
0062409344 (ISBN13: 9780062409348)
languge
English
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An OK read afterall. I'm not so sure the 1930s bit worked so well but I understand in relation to the unmarried mother bit. And, the whole 'prison' atmosphere of the valley, the house and 'the wardens' of Ruck and Mrs J was a bit overdone. Too many Victorian melodramas methinks. Too impressionable like Alice. But the actual Victorian bit was good. It was unusual to read a book which did look at pregnancy and post natal depression as the prime mover so it was a breathe of fresh air. The whole idea of producing a male heir etc was interestingly covered too. Had a lot in its favour.Toast Fiercombe Manor sits deep in the Gloucestershire Valley, it is a mysterious rambling house that has seen tragedy befall its occupants. In 1933, Alice Eveleigh is sent to hide her out of wedlock pregnancy at Fiercombe Manor by her controlling Mother. Far from the hustle and bustle of London, Alice finds Fiercombe Manor a gentle sanctuary but it is also a place that holds deep seated secrets which will not be given up so easily. It does not take long for Alice to be consumed by the story of Lady Elizabeth Stanton, a former lady of the manor. Alice tries to find out the mysterious fate of Lady Elizabeth but it soon becomes clear that housekeeper Mrs Jelphs and Groundsman Ruck, who served at the time of Lady Elizabeth Staunton, do not wish to discuss their former charge.The Girl in the Photograph is a wonderfully atmospheric tale. It is written in the dual narrative style that has become a popular plot structure in recent times, due to the success of authors such as Kate Morton. Riordan writes elegantly, the plot flows gently but she writes in such a way that it was hard pressed not to continue to read another chapter in the story. I was compelled to find out how the mystery would unfold by the use of the alternate chapter device used by Riordan. Riordan writes perfectly about the Victorian era, I was fascinated by the parts in which Lady Elizabeth Staunton receives treatment for postal natal depression. In the late 1800’s when Elizabeth’s story is set, post natal depression was seen as a madness that required time to recover in an asylum. These parts of the story were quite difficult and heartbreaking to read. I found much of Elizabeth’s story is touched by a tone of sadness, but it was still very compelling. The treatment of women in 1930’s is also brought to the forefront by Alice’s story. The reader discovers how unwed women such as Alice were shunned by their own family, embarrassed about reputations being ruined. In Alice’s case this results in her stay at the rural location of Fiercombe Manor. Both Alice and Elizabeth I found sympathising with easily, they share a parallel story of awaiting the birth of their children at Fiercombe, as a mother myself I felt a connection with both these well drawn characters. The Girl in the Photograph is a rich tale that encompasses love, tragedy, birth, secrets and mystery. The book did seem to hint at the supernatural, but I found that this part of the novel was very understated. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this book immensely and I will definitely look out for future works by Kate Riordan.
Reviews
edobrova
If you like Kate Morton's books, you will like this one.
Wenzy
read this in a weekend, couldn't put it down, very good.
abby
I enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down.
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