Tuesday, April 12, 2016

REVIEW: Fiercombe Manor

Fiercombe Manor
Author:  Kate Riordan

In 1933, 22-year old Alice finds herself unmarried, pregnant and disgraced. Her mother concocts a story about Alice's husband being killed in an accident and asks her old friend, Mrs. Jelphs, to give the girl a place to stay until the birth of her child. Mrs. Jelphs is the housekeeper at Fiercombe Manor. Alice arrives at the country manor, playing the part of a young widow. The Stanton Family no longer lives at the Manor, so Alice discovers that she will be sharing the house with only Mrs. Jelphs and a few servants. In the beginning, she is glad to have a place to stay, but soon she realizes that all is not as it seems at Fiercombe Manor. Thirty years before, Lady Elizabeth Stanton, nervously awaited the birth of her second child, hoping for the son her husband wanted. But something dreadful happened, and years later, Alice is not prepared for what she discovers about the Manor and its history.

I enjoyed this book. The story line builds tension slowly, and switches from Alice to Elizabeth's story. The tone and mystery in the book reminded me a lot of the classic book, Rebecca. The story does not move fast, but it doesn't become boring either. The tension and mystery build slowly, until the full realization of what happened in the house becomes clear.

Fiercombe Manor was published as The Girl in the Photograph in the UK. Her other books are The Shadow Hour and Birdcage Walk.

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