Thursday, April 21, 2016

Larkswood by Valerie Mendes

Paperback: 400 pages                                                                                                 

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Orion 2014
Source: Charity Shop
First Sentences: It is early Spring in the woods. Almost dawn.
Review Quote:  If there's a beautiful old house on a book's cover, I want a family saga of richness and breadth, a mystery that runs through that family like a San Andreas fault, captivating characters and gorgeous atmosphere. And this has it all .... Scrumptious storytelling. (Kate Saunders SAGA MAGAZINE)
My Opinion: I read this is October 2015 and sadly never got round to reviewing properly. I know I thoroughly enjoyed it. 
Proof of this is that I stayed awake to finish the last 100 pages when I should have been asleep! Recommended to anyone that enjoys a family saga with plenty of drama and intrigue.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

In the tradition of THE FORSYTE SAGA, a sweeping historical novel that spans three generations, telling the dark secrets of a family torn apart.

Larkswood House. The very name suggests birdsong, peace and elegance. It is home to the Hamilton children - Edward, Cynthia and Harriet - who enjoy the freedom and excitement of privilege. But in the glorious summer of 1896, with absent parents and a departed governess, disaster strikes the family, leaving it cruelly divided.

More than forty years later, on the eve of the Second World War, Louisa Hamilton, newly presented at court but struck down with glandular fever, is sent to Larkswood to recuperate. There, for the first time, she meets her grandfather, Edward, home after decades in India. Haunted by terrible memories, the arrival of his granddaughter begins to gladden his heart.

But as Louisa begins to fall under the spell of Larkswood, she realises it holds the key to the mystery that shattered her family two generations before. Will she find the courage to unravel the dark secrets of the past? And can Larkswood ever become home to happiness again?

Author Profile

Photo Courtesy of Oxford Times

Valerie Helene (née Barnett) Mendes was born in Buckinghamshire, Enland in October 1939. She attended North London Collegiate School and the University of Reading,
She is a novelist, children's writer and poet, best known for her teenage fiction novels, Girl in the Attic and Lost and Found.
In 1970 she married Jameson Peter Mendes.
Their son Samuel Alexander "Sam" Mendes, is a well-known director and producer

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Goodreads Author Page     Valerie Mendes - Wikipedia     The Oxford Times

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