Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tumbledown Manor” as Want to Read:
Tumbledown Manor
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tumbledown Manor

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  640 ratings  ·  145 reviews
The windows rattle. The roof leaks. Every surface cries out to be stripped, painted, or polished. But for writer Lisa Trumperton, the dilapidated manor house that once belonged to her great-grandfather is far more than the sum of its battered parts. It's the chance for a new start on her own terms. The fact that it's in the Melbourne countryside of her Australian homeland, ...more
Paperback, 291 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Kensington Publishing Corporation (first published September 1st 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tumbledown Manor, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tumbledown Manor

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  640 ratings  ·  145 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Tumbledown Manor
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

I love the cover of this book, it just looks like a magical place to be. *some mild spoilers ahead*

When I first started reading the book I wasn't sure I was going to like it. It starts out with Lisa and her husband Jake celebrating Lisa's bday in their home with their grown kids, Ted and Portia. When a simple bouquet of flowers arrive with a not so sweet card attached, all hell breaks loose!

Lisa survived a mastectomy, a cheating husband and she is a wonderf
Diane S ☔
Apr 14, 2016 rated it liked it
What I liked: the setting in Australia, an old house, family secrets, plenty of humor, the wonderful cat and crazy cockatoo, the animal wildlife, the characters, Ted and James, and the grey army.

Not so much: not enough time spent for my liking on the house renovations, rather predictable plot, the last scene seemed so out of character for the main character.

A fun, easy comfort read with a gorgeous cover and setting.

ARc from Netgalley.
Don't you just love it when a book comes along that you are exactly in the mood for? This happened to me when I started reading "Tumbledown Manor". I found this debut novel to be heart-warming, life-affirming, strong women's fiction. An excellent read!

Lisa Katz (nee Trumperton) is a novelist who is working on a three book deal of historical romances based on the lives of the three Brontë sisters. Happily (she thinks) married, a cancer survivor, and the mother of two grown children, she feels tha
Oct 30, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2016
I didn't like this as much as I thought I would. I was hoping for an old manor house that Lisa inherits that's full of past secrets. That's not what happened. Lisa gets a divorce after a very cliche way, moves back to Australia, and buys her grandfather's manor. (They did hint about a secret.) Then she meets handyman, Scott. I didn't like him at all, but neither did I like Lisa, so I never did buy into the romance bit. I found myself completely bored with this book and I got to the point where I ...more
Tiffany PSquared
Well, it hit the ground running but petered out somewhere along the way. It felt like even the author herself lost interest; chapters ended with sappy sentiment that sometimes was the exact opposite emotion she spent the whole chapter establishing. The few times the action really does pick up, the "scene" suddenly switched with no explanation or follow up. There were several times while reading that I found myself saying, "Hey, what happened here? Who was that at the door? Why did that chapter e ...more
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lisa thinks her life could not get any better, her husband has arranged for her family and friends to gather and celebrate her birthday, her husband has thought of everything even sending flowers. But the flowers are not for her and so ends the life she thought she had. She decides to sell everything and move from New York to stay with her sister while she decides what to do next. On an outing with her sister they visit an ancestral home and instead of the condo her sister wants her to buy she p ...more
I really enjoyed this light-hearted look at family relationships. Lisa undergoes a far-reaching life change when at her 40th birthday celebration she discovers her husband of over twenty years is having an affair, she finds out when a huge bunch of roses is delivered to her but with another woman’s name on it. Once caught out he announces that he no longer loves Lisa – and her marriage is over – just like that. Lisa is alone in her New York apartment – both children have left home – so on impuls ...more
A nice story, likeable characters, predictable cliche plots, a comedy of errors- but that was it for me, it didn’t make me want to keep turning the page, I finished the book but only to see how it ended.
Carol Preston
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few things drew me to read this book. One, I wanted to try an Australian writer I had not yet read. Helen Brown grew up in New Zealand but lives in Melbourne and has ancestral ties to rural Victoria, where this story is set. I liked the idea of reading about a writer’s life, plus the historical flavour of the blurb and the idea of restoring an old house with family secrets all drew me in.
For the most part I was not disappointed and enjoyed the story. It is entirely from the point of view of t
Gina Wynn
I love a good mansion renovation story – all of those hardwood floors, original wallpaper, mouldy carpet, creaky stairs and ghosts… and, for me, this story only became that when the action moved to Trumperton Manor, instead of being in New York, where the book began. I think much of this earliest portion could have been dispensed with in favour of arriving in Australia—and the meat of the story—more quickly. Important details revealed in the beginning could have been mentioned at other appropria ...more
This was a nice easy read and I just loved the story of the old house and the changes it brought around in Lisa as well as how the house changed itself. I felt the book has a nice message to it too of starting over and making the best of new changes in life but this wasn’t heavy handed or overdone in the slightest and all blended well in the story.

I have to say that the cover got me from the very start! There is just something very appealing about a tumbledown house and the smells and dust that
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

New Zealand born columnist Helen Brown is probably best known for her bestselling memoirs, Cleo and After Cleo. Tumbledown Manor, set in Australia where the author now lives with her family, is the journalist's first fiction novel.

Lisa Katz (nee Trumperton) would rather forget she is turning 50 but is delighted when her family gathers to celebrate in her Upper East Side apartment, her daughter Portia has flown in from the west coast, her son, Ted, and her sister, Maxine and her husband, from Aus
Carolyn F.
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a story of a woman married 20+ years, whose husband leaves her for someone younger and how she starts her life over back home in Australia. This was a sweet book, kind of sad at times. The author wrote in her acknowledgement about how she has friends who are going through life changes through marriages ending, children changing, etc. This poor woman had it all including starting her life all over again. The hunky neighbor was a little much, but then again this is fiction. 3-1/2 out of 5 ...more
Maureen Riesterer
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Tumbledown Manor from beginning to end. This book was really well written and had some wonderful heart warming moments and a few deep,belly laughs.
I would highly recommend this to woman of all ages.
Can't wait for another book from Helen Brown.
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-done
*I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Tumbledown Manor by Helen Brown is a meaty contemporary chick lit novel. Yes, maybe I made up a genre just now. It’s not exactly what most people would call “fluff”; a term I actually object to. The main character is about a writer named Lisa, who is celebrating her 50th birthday when she accidentally finds out her husband is cheating on her. So, considering she’s originally from Australia, Lisa decides to take off and move b
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What's not to love about Tumbledown Manor? The story starts in New York City where on the eve of her birthday, Lisa Trumperton discovers her relationship with her husband hasn't been as monogamous as perhaps she might have liked. This sets off a tree-change and journey back to Australia where she grew up, and on a whim, she finds herself purchasing an historic old manor that had once been in her family, inserting herself into an entirely different life in country Victoria.

I loved getting to kno
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A super cozy book about how it's never too late to discover who you are.
On Lisa Trumperton's 50th birthday, her husband accidentally reveals he is sleeping with a much younger woman, and walks out on the family. Determined to start over, Lisa packs up and leaves New York, heading home to her native Australia. Once there, she decides to buy her grandfather's old house: Trumperton Manor. But as the name of the book suggests, the manor is a dump. Couple this with an overly persistent handyman, a gr
Middle aged woman finds out her husband is cheating. She divorces him, goes back home to Australia, buys the old family home which is in shambles, rebuilds her life, finds a new love and lives happily ever after.
In a nutshell, that would describe the book for me. The story resembles many other books I have read before, which is not good, but the good part is that the characters in this one are pretty unique.

A cat called Mojo and a parrot called Kiwi are on the top of my list, plus an assortment
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a great book about midlife crisis, divorce and figuring out what your going to do with yourself after your husband of 20 years decides to marry someone younger.

I loved the idea of bringing back to life a manor that hadn't been lived in for years. It sounded absolutely wonderful. I love mixing old with new.

Of course, there were several romances going on as well. For those of you wondering about explicit sex, it was mentioned as a thought, but it wasn't actually being done.

There were s
Mar 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carlissa by: Netgalley
I really liked the premise of the story, but it definitely needs some serious editing. The first third of the story, when the main character, Lisa, is breaking up with her husband should be condensed down into 1 or 2 chapters. When Lisa decides to move back to Australia, her homeland, the story picks up and finally becomes interesting. I really liked the idea of her buying the manor house that her grandfather had built and fixing it up. I liked the Gray Army and wished more was told about them a ...more
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, net-galley, 2016
When Lisa discovers that her husband has been having an affair she decides to move back to Australia, her childhood home. She finds that the house that used to belong to her family is for sale and the story of Tumbledown Manor begins. She wants to create a home.
I loved the characters including the Gray Army who help with all the renovations. I also loved the setting in Australia . The house needs some major work and I loved all the plans. There is a hint of a secret in the house.
It was a lovely
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved Tumbledown Manor!! It was so refreshing to read about a middle age woman and what was happening in her life. I loved the whole story, the messages it gives, the laughs I had, the emotions and the hope. First the cover drew me in, and the first paragraph cemented the knowledge that I had to read this book. I could feel a connection to Lisa and was thrilled to go on this adventure with her. Tumbledown Manor is an unforgettable read with fantastic characters who all had so much to of ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pleasant saga, set mainly in an Australian country town, about a middle aged divorcee who buys a old house that once belonged to her grandfather. And of course she meets a gorgeous, capable man who step in to save the day. Therefore, this is a fantasy!
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book made me truly believe, that I can write a novel. Poorly written in parts and with a highly predictable plot, it's a testament to the world of publishing for the masses. ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
You know, with the daily news showering us with political and sexual scandals, shootings, international drama, and overall negative, troubled events, it sure was a pleasure for me to get away mentally and read this book to get away from it all if but for a couple of late reading nights.

It’s a light fun read and had enough twists and turns along the way to keep things interesting. At the very beginning we are at Lisa and her husband jakes place in New York. He surprises her for her significant b
Amanda - Cover2CoverMom
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, 2018
You can read all of my reviews on my blog -> Cover2CoverMom Blog

I am going to start off with a few things I liked about Tumbledown Manor. One thing I really enjoyed about this one was that Lisa, the main character, is an author who writes a series of books based off the Brontë sisters. This book was loaded with tidbits of info about the Brontë sisters and their lives. Being a huge Brontë fan myself, I really appreciated seeing this included in the book. Secondly, I love the cover, which had ori
Simone Harrison
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Katherine P
Mar 12, 2016 rated it liked it
This book wasn't what I was expecting. Going in I was expecting a contemporary romance but set in Australia and I got a lot less romance and much more story about Lisa herself. This isn't a bad thing it was just a little different than I expected.

I like Lisa quite a bit. Her fun 50th birthday surprise party turned into something rather awful and sent her scrambling to figure out who she was and what she really wanted. What she wants is to go back to Australia, closer to her son and her sister bu
Apr 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Tumbledown Manor is a new novel by Helen Brown. Lisa Trumperton Katz, a writer, has been married to Jake for twenty-three years. Lisa believes she has a good life (and a happy husband) until she opens the card attached to her birthday flowers and finds out that they are for his mistress. Lisa asks Jake for a divorce and decides to head back to her birthplace of Australia. Lisa stays with her sister, Maxine (a real pain in the tuchis) and her husband, Gordon. Lisa, thanks to her divorce settlemen ...more
Samantha Bilodeau
This was a nice and very pleasant story that I enjoyed from the first few pages. It was well-written and had some truly entertaining moments.

My favorite aspects were the animals and the interactions with them, and the setting itself. I'm an American who love basically all things "Australia", and the description here was fantastic and very immersive. I've been to Oz, but haven't yet made it to Melbourne or the surrounding areas, and it was easy to imagine what Castlemaine was like. I also have to
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book Club on the Run: Author of Tumbledown Manor 2 2 Aug 30, 2018 12:44PM  
Book Club on the Run: August book is... 1 2 Jul 31, 2018 11:48AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Together by Christmas: Escape into the Sunday Times Bestseller which will Capture Your Heart this Christmas
  • Left to Chance
  • The Trouble with Lexie
  • The Lucky One
  • The Dress in the Window
  • The Dressmaker's Dowry
  • What She Left Behind
  • Daylight (Atlee Pine, #3)
  • Love Your Life
  • The Shop on Main Street (The Cadillac Series #2)
  • Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema
  • The Friendship List
  • A Broken Bone (Widow's Island #6)
  • The Ghost and the Silver Scream (Haunting Danielle Book 24)
  • Thicker than Blood (Zoe Bentley Mystery #3)
  • The Last Mrs. Summers (Her Royal Spyness, #14)
  • Dance for the Dead (Jane Whitefield, #2)
  • When We Were Young & Brave
See similar books…

Helen Brown was born and brought up in New Zealand, where she first worked as a journalist, TV presenter, and scriptwriter. Now living in Melbourne, Australia, with her family and their blog-obsessed cat Jonah, Helen continues to write columns for the New Zealand and Australian media. She’s been voted Columnist of the Year several times.

Helen's memoir CLEO rose to the top of the bestseller list in

Related Articles

Jennifer Weiner is the author of many bestsellers, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, and Mrs. Everything. She's also a contributing opinion...
95 likes · 26 comments
“After a lifetime of enabling others, surely she’d earned the right to make her own choices, no matter how outlandish?” 0 likes
“famous modern art gallery in Hobart.” 0 likes
More quotes…