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Saturday, August 7, 2021

The Master of Measham Hall by Anna Abney

1665 England and the plague engulfs the entire land. Communities are suspicious of any newcomers especially those coming from London. Alethea though she would like to be at her own home, due to her stepmother and her father's inability to stand up for her is at her aunt's house quite safe from the illness. Alethea is awaiting her brother's return after exile and when a message arrives that he is awaiting her, she goes to meet him, not knowing that her aunt in a way to get rid of her has arranged for her to disappear on the journey. Alethea then finds herself penniless, abandoned and needs to find her way back to her family. The adventures of Alethea first with a man she meets at a pub (fortunately not someone who seduced her and then abandoned her) and then meeting up with a group of religious people who were led by Samuel and who went from place to place preaching placed her in care till she fell in love with Samuel and discovered she was expecting a baby. Knowing that she would have to now fend for herself and her child, she and a companion return to her family home, and she now dons the guise of her brother William and does it so well that she hoodwinks practically everyone whom she comes in contact with. The story continues how Alethea (now William) continue with the camoflauge despite William returning to the family home and the ramifications of maintaining this facade throughout. An interesting story dealing with religious divides, a family divided on religious grounds and the constant greed for property which threw families apart. Sent by Duckworth Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

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