Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The House At Harcourt by Anita Burgh

Synopsis :

It is 1859.  At the tender age of three, Eliza Forester is left motherless when her father orders his wife from the house, accusing her of infidelity.  he keeps the child not out of love, but to spite his wife, whose name is never mentioned at the beautiful Jacobean house and estate near Exeter where they live.  Eliza grows up believing her mother is dead.

Her happiest times are spent with Ruby and Jerome, the children of tenant farmers on her father's estate.  When, at sixteen, Eliza's innocent friendship with Jerome turns to love, her father, furious, forces her to make what could be the greatest mistake of her life.

This is the story of a woman who loses everything - the man she loves, her inheritance, her child and very nearly, her sanity - due to envy and greed of those who should love, not hate her.  But Eliza Forester is determined to lose neither her confidence nor her soul.

I can't say I totally agree with the above synopsis.  It's taken from the back cover of the book.  It isn't wrong but yet the synopsis isn't right either.  For one, I don't think her father kept her with him to spite her mother but more because she is his daughter although at times he doubts it and her very presents seems to torture him..all in all, I think he is quite sadistic in nature.

Eliza also didn't really spend that much time with Ruby and Jerome as a child. She only did so in her teens cos as a child, she sends more time with her governess, Ms Fanny as well as her Uncle Charles who is the husband to her father's sister.

Uncle or Sir Charles was painted as a father fine gentleman but halfway through the author seems to change her mind about him and portray him to be rather of a charismatic rogue.  For a while there, I actually thought Sir Charles might be Eliza's father.

I really dont' know where the author is going as towards the end Eliza's mother too was made out to be a selfish woman who cares about herself more than her child and towards the end Eliza's father seems to have a change of heart about her presence so yes, it's all very confusing.

I can't say I like The House At Harcourt very much.

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