Considered a troublesome burden, Evelyn Talbot is banished by her family to their remote country house. Tall Chimneys is hidden in a damp and gloomy hollow. It is outmoded and inconvenient but Evelyn is determined to save it from the fate of so many stately homes at the time - abandonment or demolition. Occasional echoes of tumult in the wider world reach their sequestered backwater - the strident cries of political extremists, a furore of royal scandal, rumblings of the European war machine. But their isolated spot seems largely untouched. At times life is hard - little more than survival. At times it feels enchanted, almost outside of time itself. The woman and the house shore each other up - until love comes calling, threatening to pull them asunder. Her desertion will spell its demise, but saving Tall Chimneys could mean sacrificing her hope for happiness, even sacrificing herself. A century later, a distant relative crosses the globe to find the house of his ancestors. What he finds in the strange depression of the moor could change the course of his life forever. One woman, one house, one hundred years.
The setting is a small hamlet on the Moors of England. The active action, not the flashbacks, are WWII. Written in the first person, this book features a protagonist who in turn pleased me and infuriated me. She was strong, yes, but she was weak also. She was controlled by circumstances and I wanted her to rail against those circumstances many times. Still, I liked her. The author writes vivid descriptions, often too many and in too much detail. Every male character, no matter how inconsequential to the story, was described in detail, especially their lips. Many times, I didn't care what they looked like or that greasy spittal was running down their chin.
Still, I like the book. It was good for this winter of many indoor days. The epilogue saved the book for me. The wrapup was unexpected but welcome. The book is written in first person. Some people do not like first person, but that didn't bother me. The author tells the story rather than showing through a lot of immediate action and dialogue, but again, this didn't bother me, but it will bother some readers.
416 pages. Available through online retailers and brick and morter stores.
Classified as historical romance.