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Friday, January 6, 2023

The Girl From Summerhayes by Merryn Allingham

Part of a series, this is the first book. 1914 england not an easy place for women. Still sadly very much second class citizens and it seemed the more money you had, the restructions and controls on women were tighter. Elizabeth is living at least from the outside an idyllic life. Her father particularly dotes on her, but on one thing he is adamant. She must make a good marriage, and unlike her mother who married for money and married into trade, very mucha downer, Elizabeth must marry into a well established family. Despite massive animosity between the two neighbouring houses of brother and sister, Henry is persuaded to step in and find an alliance for his niece. The problem arises because Elizabeth has set her sights elsewhere. This was not just a family saga. Emotions of envy and jealousy and even murder and to a lesser extent vandalism all played a part. The setting of rural England against the backdrop of a looming World War, the beginning of the end of service to the great houses and the strengthening of the suffragette movement all added historical interest and a commentary on society as it was then. Characterization was spot on. The husbands portrayed both bullies - one using his wealth the other his background over their subservient wives, children cowering against threats, the independent spirit amongst younger people both Aiden and Elizabeth being in point were well portrayed in the story. Sent by Bookouture for an independent review, courtesy of Netgalley.


  1. I am always fascinated with the lives of women who lived long ago.

  2. Nice that you chose historical fiction as your first read. Mine was contemporary but making a lot of waves and controversy! Happy New Year of reading!

  3. I love this time period. This sounds like a book I would enjoy!