|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
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?
Fiercombe Manor is the perfect book to settle down with on a rainy day (the rain adds to the atmosphere of the book). It has mystery, secrets, creepiness, and a huge manor to get lost in. Talk about Gothic! I absolutely loved this book! I found myself riveted by both Elizabeth and Alice's stories and couldn't wait to find out what would happen to them. Reading about each woman from their perspectives was a great touch as it afforded us a more personal look into their lives and also with information about the different time periods they lived in. I couldn't help but feel more involved with the story and Fiercombe Manor.
This book was filled with intrigue and so many secrets - it was unputdownable! The history and fiction were married perfectly in this story and provided a great backdrop for such a terrific set of narratives. I also found Riordan's exploration of the issue of women and mental illness to be important and insightful - she shared with us the ways in which society treated women with mental illness and they measures that were taken to deal with them. It was truly eye-opening and very fascinating. I found my heart aching.
Fiercombe Manor is a book that I would most definitely recommend to fans of historical fiction, women's fiction, and fan's of Gothic fiction - you will LOVE this book! To find out what other bloggers have to say about this fantastic novel, here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Fiercombe Manor