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Fiercombe Manor

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  4,781 ratings  ·  665 reviews
A house as old as Fiercombe Manor holds many secrets within its walls. But which dark chapter of its history is haunting Alice, a young woman staying there during the course of a fateful summer?

In 1933, naive twenty-two-year-old Alice is pregnant, unmarried, and disgraced. She can no longer share her parents' London home, so her desperate mother concocts a cover story and
ebook, 403 pages
Published February 17th 2015 by Harper (first published January 15th 2015)
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Sandra Puzzle solved! The paperback was listed for around $60.00 US on Amazon! I just downloaded Fiercombe Manor for $7.99!! Thank you, Robin!!!
Puzzle solved! The paperback was listed for around $60.00 US on Amazon! I just downloaded Fiercombe Manor for $7.99!! Thank you, Robin!!!

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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,781 ratings  ·  665 reviews

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Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Girl In The Photograph by Kate Riordan was a beautifully written historical fiction novel that grabbed my attention from the very beginning, the characters of Alice & Elizabeth were well crated & written.

Set in two different eras, Alice in 1933 & Elizabeth in 1898 tell the story of 2 women in the same circumstances centuries apart Alice gets pregnant by John Elton a married man, her mother is so shocked by what her daughter has done she sends her to Firecombe Manor in the Cotswolds where she
Diane S ☔
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 An old manor house, a hidden journal, a summer house with a secret room, a glass house falling apart and a 40 year old mystery. These are the things that Alice finds when she is sent to Fiercombe manor in 1933. Sent by her mother after a one night sexual relationship , leaves her pregnant.

Love the gothic tone of this novel, the slowness of the story and the secrets and the way they are revealed. What did happen to Elizabeth Stanton and her daughter Isabelle? In alternate voices, we hear from
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I requested The Girl in the Photograph from Netgalley and then I found an interesting book called Fiercombe Manor on Edelweiss and requested it. A while later when I had been granted access to them both did I realize that it was the same book. The Girl in the Photograph is the English book and Fiercombe Manor is the title for the book in US and Canada. I chose to read the Fiercombe Manor because the text was formatted better in that version.

The year is 1933 and twenty-two-year-old Alice arrives
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic-tone
This is definitely a book Kate Morton fans will inhale. I'm having a tough time putting it down.

Update: This turned out to be a fun gothic romp and I was riveted for the most part and a little creeped out in places. Riordan has written a delicious homage to Victoria Holt (creepy English manor setting with a smidge from the "Had-I-But- Known" school thrown in), Kate Morton (dual storyline and dark secrets), Sarah Waters (spooky ghostly touch--which may or may not be real), and Daphne du Maurier (
Oct 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is 1932 and when Alice finds herself unmarried and pregnant, she is sent on a long visit to Fiercombe Manor in the Cotswolds, a lonely mansion in the bottom of a remote valley, where the housekeeper, Mrs Jelphs is an old friend of her mothers. Under the pretence of being widowed she is to stay there until the birth of her child and then return to London. Alice is immediately drawn to Fiercombe in this atmospheric and haunting read. In particular she feels compelled to learn about its history, ...more
Gill Paul
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I meant to read this novel when it first came out back in 2013 because the reviews were intriguing, but it’s been a treat worth waiting for. Kate Riordan cleverly weaves the stories of two women: Alice in the early 1930s, pregnant after a brief affair with a married man, and Elizabeth in the 1890s, married to a cold, controlling man. They live in two houses in a lush valley – Fiercombe Manor and Stanton Hall – and these become almost like characters in their own right. Strange things happen in t ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Time separates two women linked through similar challenges. Dark secrets revealed, a journal discovered. Richly atmospheric, enough of a mild gothic edge to add a chillingly eerie feel as the mystery is unraveled.

Riordan does an outstanding job providing details of the manor both inside and outside. The lush grounds, the vast interior of the manor all captured in the reader’s mind. As you travel alternately through the past and present you are aware of social propriety, the oppression women face
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, netgalley

Two women, each of them pregnant.

Alice is a 22 year old typist living with her parents in the year 1932. Alice is wondering when her real life will begin when she falls pregnant to a married man and is sent to live at Fiercombe Manor (Fiercombe Estate) in Gloucestershire, where an old friend of Alice’s mother is the housekeeper.

The other woman is Elizabeth, she is pregnant and it is1898. She is the wife of the sixth Baronet of Fiercombe Estate - Edward Stanton. Edward has built Stanton House on
Liz Barnsley
Just finished this and it was such a good emotional evocative read. Full review will be published (along with an author Q&A) around time of release. For now though you can find out about the inspiration behind the novel from one of my recent blog posts.

Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is 1932 and Alice is a young woman feeling constrained by life. Despite making her father proud by doing well at school and getting a good office job, her mother is disapproving about her lack of possible husbands and insists that she will be left on the shelf. Unfortunately, the one man Alice is interested in is already married. Young and naïve, she believes his tales of divorcing his wife and finds herself pregnant and alone. If her mother was disapproving before, now she is shocked and dis ...more

This is a story of two women told in two time periods and the events that occur are a result of the societal attitudes of the time. It is also a story of the relationship between mothers and daughters. Both women, Elizabeth in 1898 and Alice in 1933, are expecting a child.

Elizabeth already has a daughter, Isabel, but after suffering two miscarriages is hoping this pregnancy will result in a baby boy to provide her husband Edward with his much longer for heir. Alice, a secretary, was seduced by a
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why the booktrail?

Even the title is mysterious – just who is the girl in the photo? We wanted to know straight away!

Story in a nutshell

The Girl in the Photograph is a haunting and atmospheric novel that tells the tales of women in two different eras – the 1890’s and 1930’s – and how their lives seem to be entwined by fate.

Place and setting

Fiercombe Manor in Gloucestershire where Alice arrives at in disgrace is a beautiful house but one which is to hide her shame from society and keep her within
‘Fiercombe is a place of secrets. They fret among the uppermost branches of the beech trees and brood at the cold bottom of the stream that cleaves the valley in two. The past has seeped into the soil here like spilt blood.’

In 1932, twenty-two year old Alice Eveleigh finds herself pregnant by a man she thought she loved but is already married to another. In an attempt to spare the family scandal, her mother sends her to stay with an old friend, Mrs. Jelphs, at Fiercombe Manor in the English
Cleopatra  Pullen
For someone who isn’t a fan of ghostly elements in books it is amazing how I have now read three books in quick succession that feature them in various degrees, although the ghosts in this book are in many ways ephemeral beings. For Alice Eveleigh newly resident at Fiercombe Manor the feeling that the house was host to those who’d lived before that made the former Lady of the Manor, Elizabeth Stanton’s life so intriguing and a welcome distraction for the exiled pregnant young woman who had been ...more
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for my review copy.

It is England in the 1930s. It is not the done thing to be become pregnant outside of wedlock. Alice is packed away, to stay with her mother’s old friend, Mrs Jelps, in the country and to give birth to her illegitimate baby. Mrs Jelps is the housekeeper at Fiercombe Manor. Alice becomes fascinated with stories of the past concerning Elizabeth. Mrs Jelps used to be Elizabeth’s personal maid. Elizabeth is quite an enigma and Alice finds her
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find it difficult to resist period romances set in country houses, especially when there’s a hint of suspense or a touch of the gothic, and ‘The Girl in the Photograph’ promised all of that.

This is a story is told in retrospect, recalling events that had happened just a few years earlier.

‘I could never have imagined all that would happen in those few short months and how, by the end of them, my life would have altered irrevocably and for ever’

In 1932 Alice was young, and she was holding down a
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When in the late spring of 1933, 20 year Alice Eveleigh arrives at Fiercombe Manor in a Gloucestershire valley she is nearly 6 months pregnant by her married boyfriend. She has been sent there in disgrace from London by her parents. The housekeeper Mrs Jelphs is an old school friend of Alice’s mother and has been told that Alice is newly widowed and needs some peace and quiet for the duration of her confinement. From her first arrival at Fiercombe, Alice feels a disturbing presence and a sadness ...more
Wash your hands.
Feb 10, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Maudlin, trite, slow. Takes itself so seriously heaven forfend there be any moments of levity. The idea behind it is good but you can't transplant modern ideas and thinking into the mind of historical characters. Bottle it up, stiff upper lip, wasn't just what British people were told it's what they *believed* You can't just transplant someone with attitudes from what looks to be the 1990s into the 1930s.

What utterly strips this of all it's stars is that the author is a absolute chuffing imbeci
JoAnne Pulcino

Kate Riordan

FIERCOMBE MANOR is the story of two women of different eras living in the manor house. One woman is depicted in the 1930’s and the other in the 1890’s and they have pregnancy in common. The book is described as haunting and will appeal to readers who loved REBECCA.

I, personally, am very tired of reviews that use the beloved REBECCA as a selling point and especially when the book or books don’t even come close to the comparison!

The novel has a housekeeper (probably the
Iona Grey
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everything I love in a novel: an old house, a mystery, an unfolding romance and a whole heap of exquisite, evocative writing. I was transported to high summer in a lush, green valley and I absolutely adored it.
Kate Riordan’s The Shadow Hour was one of the books that convinced me to dig deeper into the historical fiction genre, convincing me it was a genre I needed to pay more attention to rather than reading it sporadically. I have read more of the genre since then, but mostly it’s been novella length stories with only the occasional full-length novel thrown in. When I saw Kate Riordan’s The Girl in the Photograph on offer, I decided it was time for another full-length historical fiction novel.

In trut
Vanessa S.
There's just something about stories set in old manors and houses that draws me in like a fly to honey. I really loved the descriptions of Fiercombe Manor and the Stanton House, and though I went in expecting this to be a haunted house story, I wasn't disappointed when it wasn't.

I feel as though I read a good number of books with alternating storylines, and, once again, I enjoyed that aspect of the narration. Like Alice, I found myself looking forward to reading Elizabeth's journal entries.

"The Girl In The Photograph" is one of those books that creeps up on you slowly and then refuses to let you go. I liked it from the beginning, but it wasn't until the second half of the book that I found myself unable to put this book down anymore.

There are two main stories: That of Alice, a young woman living in London in the 1930s, and that of Elizabeth, another young woman living on an estate in rural England thirty years earlier. When Alice becomes pregnant after a short-lived (and ill-fated
‘The Girl in the Photograph’ by Kate Riordan began with great promise but I thought the pace a little bit too slow and that it wound up fizzling out a bit towards the end. The story is told by two women, Alice in 1933 and Elizabeth in 1898, who both live at the Gothic and secluded English country estate, Firecombe Manor. When Alice became pregnant to her married boyfriend her mother sent her away to stay with her childhood friend, Edith Jelphs, who works as a maid at Firecomb Manor.

Alice soon di
{ U n s o l v e d M y s t e r y }
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers
Recommended to { U n s o l v e d M y s t e r y } by: Given to me for a honest review

- My Description -
The year is 1933.
Alice Eveleigh is in love with the man of her dreams, or so she thinks....

John is married. He tells her he plans on leaving his wife for her. (Never ever believe that, girlfriend. Lol)

After a brief tryst, Alice discovers she's pregnant.
He informs her he's changed his mind and is not leaving his wife.
Alice decides not to tell John about the baby.

Young Alice is unmarried and pregnant.
This was quite the stigma for young women back then.

(view spoiler)
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The atmosphere in this book is perfect; the way that Riordan tugs the story out into the open is unhurried and neatly; and the emotional turmoil is there from the beginning, tugging at the reader.

This is the heartbreaking story of a very real feminine plight that so often one turns a blind eye on.

Alice is a strong but not overpowering female lead, easy to like and easy to follow in her curiosity to seek out the answer to the mystery of Elizabeth, and later little Isabel.

The life of Elizabeth, it
I love stories that go back and forth in time, with creepy old houses, secrets and best of all-asylums! However, this book did not fully live up to its potential, sadly. The book was slow for the first half, then only moderately picked up pace in the second.

I like when an author takes on a topic that is not very openly discussed or made aware. In this case, post-partum depression and anxiety were a very present subject of the story. It was so sad to read, what I already knew to be true, of how
Meh. It was fine. It was predictable. I read it, and that is all the energy I'm going to put into it. ...more
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
My! What a book!!! There were parts in it which were dismal and depressing but the atmosphere of eeriness was so real that one started getting it inside one's own skin. So were the characters all portrayed with their flaws and sins and not too apologetic about it.
The main character a young girl ends up in a remote Manor due to certain unfortunate circumstances in her life. There she unravels the life of the old mistress of the Manor who had lived there half a century before. Both their fates se
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Kate Riordan is a writer and journalist from England. Her first job was as an editorial assistant at the Guardian newspaper, followed by a stint as deputy editor for the lifestyle section of London bible, Time Out magazine.

After becoming a freelancer, she left London behind and moved to the beautiful Cotswolds in order to write her first novel, 'Birdcage Walk'. Her second novel, a haunting dual na

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