6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This novel is a quick and easy read. It tells the story of Ed Hartlepool, who returns from a lengthy sojourn in France to find that the estate which he has inherited has run out of funds, and is now seriously in debt. Plans are afoot to sell and redevelop the estate, and Ed has no choice but to agree. Another of his problems is that upon his return, he finds that an elderly woman, Lady Alice, has taken up residence in his absence (as she is only in her sixties, I would take issue with the author's descripton of papery skin and aged demeanour!). Who is this stranger, and what is she doing in his house? In addition to these two characters there is Annabel, a childhood friend of Ed's who lives with her elderly and difficult father, and longs for her freedom.
These are the bare bones of the plot, which meanders along pleasantly enough, and in the end, some of the questions (who is Lady Alice? What will happen to Ed? How will Annabel cope with the dramatic event that takes place in her own life?) are anwered. But this novel, by an established and well-known author, doesn't really cut the mustard for me. Certainly I was interested to know what happened, but I didn't really engage with any of the charaacters (except perhaps Lady Alice), and I found that Annabel's raction to the events in her own life (no details, to avoid spoilers) unbelievable. And while there were some answers, the novel seemed to end in mid air, and I found its ending unsatisfactory.
In conclusion, while pleasant enough, this novel was a disappointment. I hesitated over the star rating, but as I wouldn't really recommend it, I'm afraid I can't give it more than three stars.