About Fiercombe Manor
– Hardcover: 416 pages
– Publisher: Harper (February 17, 2015)
– Rating: 4 stars
A house as old as Fiercombe Manor holds many secrets within its walls. But which dark chapter of its history is haunting Alice, a young woman staying there during the course of a fateful summer?
In 1933, naive twenty-two-year-old Alice is pregnant, unmarried, and disgraced. She can no longer share her parents’ London home, so her desperate mother concocts a cover story and begs her old friend, Mrs. Jelphs, for help. The housekeeper at rural Fiercombe Manor, Mrs. Jelphs is moved by Alice’s “plight” as a new widow and agrees to watch over her in the secluded English countryside until the baby is born and given up for adoption. Because the manor house’s owners, Lord and Lady Stanton, no longer live there, Alice’s only company will be Mrs. Jelphs and her skeleton staff.
Thirty years before Alice’s arrival, Lady Elizabeth Stanton awaits the birth of her second child, fervently hoping he will be the boy her husband desires. But as her time nears, she is increasingly tormented by memories of what happened with her first baby and terrified that history will repeat itself . . . with devastating consequences.
At first, Fiercombe Manor offers Alice a welcome relief from her mother’s disapproving gaze. But she begins to sense that all is not well in the picturesque Gloucestershire valley. After a chance encounter with Tom, the young scion of the Stanton family, Alice discovers that Fiercombe’s beauty is haunted by the clan’s tragic past. She is determined to exorcise the ghosts of the idyllic, isolated house.
Nothing can prepare Alice for what she uncovers. Can she escape the tragic fate of the other women who have lived in the Fiercombe valley?
Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Fiercombe Manor! Thank you to Kate Riordan and TLC Book Tours for giving me the chance to read and review this book!
Fiercombe Manor is a work of historical fiction that is told through the dual narratives of Elizabeth and Alice. These two women live in completely different time periods but their stories connect across time. The bulk of the story takes place on Fiercombe Manor and it’s surrounding area.
In general I tend to love stories that are told through multiple perspectives and it was a really great way to connect the stories of both of these women. I loved seeing the differences in their lives and in their feelings and I was always especially interested in Alice’s feelings about Elizabeth throughout the book.
The thing that really interested me while reading this book though was the manor and the property around it itself. I found the descriptons of the manor to be irresistible. It felt so real to me as I was reading it, I could definitely picture walking down it’s hallways and hearing the creaks of it’s old floorboards and doors. What a wonderful setting for this story!
This story was a bit slow to develop but it did keep me interested in it as part of the beauty of historical fiction novels is the amount of detail given to the geography and the historical elements in the stories. It was definitely well written and descriptive with a light yet somber feel. It really did have a historical feel to it. It was also creepy in the perfect places. This book was interesting as it can be classified under a few genres that I love: women’s fiction, mystery, supernatural and overall, historical fiction. I do think that historical fiction fans will enjoy reading this book as I very much enjoyed it. I was glued to it’s pages from start to finish and felt very much transported to a different time.
Kate Riordan is a British writer and journalist who worked for the Guardian and Time Out London. She is also the author of Birdcage Walk and is already at work on her third novel. Born in London, she now lives in the Gloucestershire countryside.