Another book from the series but one which I found different. Upto now we have had the Morland saga complete with family extending to both America and England. We have had basically strong willed women and men who have been people of honor who have worked honestly and well, looking after the family as well as extended family along with their host of retainers and those who have depended on them for their livelihood.
It was a slightly old fashioned way of life, very comfortable and also very satisfying to read. The fact that good always overcame evil was a nice thing to be reiterated. This one brought a more evil character into the story and one who overshadows everything in the book. He is the poison fruit obviously of the Poison Tree. Nicky who pretends to his mother to be the all caring son, who insidiously is continuously poisoning his mother's mind against Bendy the second boy, the innocent, hapless victim who to protect his mother and family decides to give up all and go away.
England is emerging from post war period and the entire mood of the country is somber. There is plenty of violence and a new breed of men around. Those who are looking for quick gain, no sense of honesty and fairplay and for the first time cholera leaves the poverty stricken areas of England and strikes at the heart of the rich.
The Morland family is also stricken - first with Nicky's evil maneuvres, Bendy leaving home and their mother heart broken who leaves the reign of Morland to Nicky who is given ample room to play as much as he wants with the finances and lives of those who live within. The gradual deterioration of Morland House and those who live within is sad and very visible and you feel the end of the dynasty is coming.
A different read from the others, but not less enjoyable.
On a different note I was yesterday in the ancient city of Sigirya - famous for its rock fortress. I was on work but the rock overshadows the entire area being visible for miles. It was a fortress of a king and has beautiful ancient frescoes.
Now its back to office work.