The Daughters of Foxcote Manor

by Eve Chase

Fourteen months ago, Rita had never been to London. But she’d dreamed of it longingly, the Rita she might be there, far away from Torquay, everything that had happened. And the metropolitan family—just like the Darlings in Peter Pan—who’d embrace her as their own.

The Daughters of Foxcote Manor is an absorbing family drama with decidedly Gothic overtones. A young innocent girl takes on the position of Nanny to a very troubled family and finds herself in an old isolated house in the middle of a dark wood. She is beset with danger and romance while trying to protect and nurture her charges. The story is told by Rita the Nanny, Hera, one of the children, and a 47-year-old woman named Sylvie, whose place in the story is not revealed until about a fifth of the way in and told almost 50 years later, in modern-day. It is when I got the connection of Sylvie to one of the other main characters that the novel started to really take off for me. I could not put it down. There is a revelation or a clue in every chapter as to the secrets and the ties that weave together the dramatis personae from the past to the people we meet in Sylvie’s time. But this is not a romance. The romance just functions as the means to ensure a satisfying and fulfilled life for one of the survivors of the tragedies of the past. Towards the end, so many mysteries are solved and connections revealed that my mind was reeling. Some I saw coming, and some I didn’t. A perfect mix, for me! Just when you think you have all the answers, there is another Piece de Resistance.

In addition to a complex intriguing plot, superb character building, and creation of atmosphere, the writing was excellent despite an over-reliance on similes and metaphors. I have to mention that because, for me, it became intrusive and a distraction. I Would highly recommend this to anyone who loves the old Romantic Suspense novels, especially the great Barbara Michaels. It is deeper, darker, more multilayered, and minus the spooks and the humor, but I think the author has built on her legacy. **5 stars out of 5**

September 17, 2020

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