Stephanie Jones's Reviews > The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall

The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall by Paul Torday
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's review
Aug 14, 2012

really liked it
Read in August, 2012

A fun, easy read with a curious cast of characters living in the midst of an era in its last throes. Ed Hartlepool is heir to Hartlepool Hall, an estate that has belonged to and sustained his and his tenants' families for centuries. Trouble is life has changed in those centuries, and the families who once worked the estate and kept the almost feudal system going are long gone. Hartlepool Hall is a white elephant that, like many of its kind, can no longer be sustained, leaving Ed with the sorry job of finding a solution to his financial woes. The answer: a slick talking developer who wants to chop the mansion up into upscale apartments. And so, the story follows Ed's circumstances, as well as how the situation impacts others, such as his butler, cook, and friends.

While the characters and situations are quirky and humorous, the book does speak to the real human toll a changing way of life can have and the fate of these massive estates. Thanks to Torday's character development, I found myself hoping for a solution for Ed and the others involved ...even though, if one had asked me in the abstract, I would have applauded the breaking down of such a system.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly and look forward to reading others by this author.


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