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The Women of Heachley Hall

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Miriam has one year to uncover Heachley Hall's unimaginable past and a secret that only women can discover.

The life of a freelance illustrator will never rake in the millions so when twenty-eight year old Miriam discovers she’s the sole surviving heir to her great-aunt’s fortune, she can’t believe her luck. She dreams of selling her poky city flat and buying a studio.
But great fortune comes with an unbreakable contract. To earn her inheritance, Miriam must live a year and a day in the decaying Heachley Hall.
The fond memories of visiting the once grand Victorian mansion are all she has left of her parents and the million pound inheritance is enough of a temptation to encourage her to live there alone.
After all, a year’s not that long. So with the help of a local handyman, she begins to transform the house.
But the mystery remains. Why would loving Aunt Felicity do this to her?
Alone in the hall with her old life miles away, Miriam is desperate to discover the truth behind Felicity’s terms. Miriam believes the answer is hiding in her aunt’s last possession: a lost box. But delving into Felicity and Heachley’s long past is going to turn Miriam’s view of the world upside down.

Does she dare keep searching, and if she does, what if she finds something she wasn’t seeking?

Has something tragic happened at Heachley Hall?

330 pages, Kindle Edition

Published May 4, 2018

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About the author

Rachel Walkley

4 books16 followers
Born in the Midlands, I grew up in East Anglia and am now firmly lodged in the North West of England. My first writing achievement was my Brownie badge and after that I've never let go of the dream of becoming of an author. Once a librarian and caretaker of books, I'm now a teller of tales and want to share with you the secrets that hide in the pages of my books.

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5 stars
467 (42%)
4 stars
367 (33%)
3 stars
199 (17%)
2 stars
51 (4%)
1 star
26 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 66 reviews
Profile Image for Teresa.
553 reviews116 followers
April 14, 2019
The blurb for this novel is what drew me to this book. I enjoyed it overall. It's very atmospheric and the 'creepy' elements are done well. I guessed what the secret was quite early on. I never really took to Miriam. I don't know why.
This book could have been half the length it was and be a brilliant read. The middle of the story dragged for me and parts of it were repetitive.
However, it's still a very good read for a debut.
Profile Image for booksofallkinds.
1,013 reviews157 followers
May 17, 2018
THE WOMEN OF HEACHLEY HALL by Rachel Walkley is a compelling and fascinating story brimming with mystery, romance, and that extra little something that I can't put my finger on which makes it a special read.

Miriam has stood on her own two feet ever since her Mum died and she doesn't know too much about her family history, but that is all set to change when she inherits Heachley Hall from her Great-Aunt Felicity. But this inheritance comes with one strict condition - that Miriam must live in the house for one year and a day. It all seems pretty straightforward and with her career as an artist leaving her free to move, a change of scene seems like the perfect answer to Miriam. But Heachley Hall has been abandoned for quite a while and Miriam will have her work cut out for her to whip it into shape. And then there are the noises, and the rumours about the hall, and that strange dust that never seems to leave ...
As Miriam gets to work, meets new people, and starts digging into her family past, will the secrets of Heachley Hall finally come to light? And will Miriam find more than she ever bargained for when she stepped over the threshold of her new home?

This story had so much more depth and substance to it than I expected and I really enjoyed the historical aspects of the story as well as the contemporary plotline. Miriam is a great character and I loved the small town that knows everything and everyone. There are secrets, intrigue, a stunning old manor, and characters that make it all come alive, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every page of THE WOMEN OF HEACHLEY HALL by Rachel Walkley.

*I voluntarily reviewed this book from the author
Profile Image for J.B (Debbie).
391 reviews8 followers
June 13, 2018
I am a total sucker when it comes to books about old houses and family secrets. I love this sort of story so was very excited to get the opportunity to read and review The Women of Heachley Hall.

When Miriam inherits an old mansion house from an aunt she barely remembers, the will stipulates that she must live in it for a year and a day before it fully becomes hers and she can sell it. So, Miriam relocates her entire life to the cold old house which is in desperate need of repair. Her memories of her aunt are sketchy and she tries to piece them together to give her a better sense of who the old woman was and why she left her the house with the ridiculous clause in the will. A handyman who had once worked for her aunt helps her with the repairs and tries to fill in some of the blanks for Miriam but Charles is as mysterious as the house and has his own secrets. Who is he exactly? The house itself is not giving up its secrets easily and the secrets of the past tempt Miriam into digging deeper to find out exactly what went on at Heachley Hall. Fairly soon however, Miriam doesn't feel she is alone in the house.

Love Love Love this book. It had me absolutely gripped from the very beginning. The house held a fascination for me as it did for Miriam. Its swirling mists and surrounding dark woods had my heart thumping in my chest! I love a good mystery and this book had heaps of family secrets to unravel. And as those secrets begin to unravel, Miriam learns just as much about herself as she does about her aunt Felicity and Heachley Hall. At times, Felicity's story is as sad as it is intriguing and Miriam discovers she is more like her aunt that she'd like to admit. And, always in the background is the ever present Charles.

The story is intriguing and at times had me on the edge of my seat. The book is beautifully written and the story tempts the reader with snippets of clues throughout the book. The house itself is almost a breathing entity with its own personality and I loved this about it. A cleverly written plot that drew me in and had me wandering the rooms of Heachley Hall along with Miriam. A story about love, regret and the secrets families keep. Highly recommended.

Profile Image for Donna Maguire.
4,392 reviews105 followers
June 19, 2018

I really enjoyed this book, it was a completely addictive read and I loved it!

The plot was great, just the right amount of detail and it really worked with the characters. They were well developed and believable. The setting worked a treat for the book and I found it all very atmospheric and just perfect for this story.

I was really surprised to find out that this was the author's debut - it is very impressive and certainly doesn't read to someone new to these genres.

5 stars from me for this one - a very highly recommended read from me!!
Profile Image for Olga Miret.
Author 52 books233 followers
March 26, 2018
A Romantic mystery, with a touch of the paranormal, a gothic mansion and wonderful characters. I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, check here if you are looking for reviews) and thank her and the author for the ARC copy of the book, which I freely chose to review.
I love old mansions, old houses, and antiques, and that was one of the things that attracted me to this book, together with the mystery aspect of it. As I’m in the process of moving, and I’m dealing with a house sale, the topic felt timely, and I am pleased I decided to go with my gut feeling.
This book manages to combine quite a few elements that I love in stories. There is a lone female protagonist, Miriam, that has to face challenges (OK, she is not fighting with a sword, but she has to confront difficulties she has never had to deal with before) and she gets to learn plenty about herself in the process. There is an old mansion (there is more than a touch of the gothic novel) that hides mysteries and tragedies of old (there are rumours that it is haunted and… well, I’m trying not to include any spoilers in this review, so I’ll keep my peace). There are family secrets, both Miriam’s and those of previous occupants of the Hall, that Miriam feels compelled to investigate, to fully understand her legacy and her feelings about Heachley Hall. There is a small town with friendly folks (and some not so friendly) that help give the place a genuine feel. The struggles of Miriam to make a living as a self-employed illustrator of children’s stories made me feel particularly connected to the character. I also enjoyed the way her relationship with Ruth, an older woman, a client and now a friend, is portrayed. There is also an element of historical fiction, as later in the book Miriam has access to a document that covers past events in the house (again, I’m trying not to give too much away), and we get to experience the way time transforms the mansion and also see how much society has changed since the XIX century. Ah, and let’s not forget, there is also a very romantic love story. (And a paranormal element…)
Imagine getting stuck, alone, in a huge old house that is falling to bits, with hardly any money to make any renovations or even make it liveable, and having to stay there for one year and one day to receive your inheritance. Although money is initially a big draw for Miriam (she is not in a particularly good place and feels she should show people she can rise to the challenge), she is also intrigued about her aunt Felicity’s reasons for setting up such strange condition. She only remembers having visited her aunt a few times as a very young child, and it makes no sense. Like so many amateur detectives, she is like a dog with a bone and has to keep making enquiries, no matter how many times she seems to have hit a dead end.
I liked Miriam. Although she has suffered tragedy and losses as a young child, she has reached adulthood as a well-balanced individual. She does have insecurities and issues, but she does not allow any drawbacks to bring her down and keeps going. She becomes stronger and more determined as the book progresses, but she does not waste much time feeling sorry for herself (only a little bit). I enjoyed the rest of the female characters as well, and although we only learn about some in the retelling of their stories, the author manages to bring them to live and make us connect emotionally with them.
The story is mostly narrated in the first person by Miriam (apart from the document I mentioned before), and she is excellent at describing, not only people and places (she is an artist after all), but also her own feelings, doubts, and mental processes. Although I know not all readers are keen on first-person narratives, I think the author does an excellent job of creating an engaging and genuine character. She is no superheroine who can do everything as soon as she steps into the property (she gets some help with her project), and she gets distracted, forgets things, gets scared, but does not give up. The story ebbs and flows as the time passes and the mystery aspects kept me reading on, although this is not a fast-paced action novel. The writing is beautifully descriptive without going over the top, and although there are sad moments, there are also light and joyful moments its readers can enjoy.
The mystery aspect of the novel is well integrated into the narrative, and although I had my suspicions about what was going on, the story is beautifully constructed and precious, and it is very satisfying. If you are one of those readers who hate cliff-hangers and always feel that there is some explanation missing and you’d like to know a bit more, you’ll be over the moon when you read this novel.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, which combines so many of my favourite things, and I’d recommend it to people who enjoy gothic stories (it is not scary but it has some eerie moments), who love old mansions, mysteries without blood and guts (no explicit violence), who like to read a romance with a difference (no explicit sex either), and who like to make friends with the characters of a novel and feel at home with them. Although it does remind me of some books (Rebecca, Jane Eyre…) and movies, I don’t want to go into any detail to avoid spoiling the story for you. But do check it out if any of the things I’ve mentioned appeals. It’s a winner.
Profile Image for Up All Night With Books.
1,147 reviews36 followers
May 1, 2018
The Women of Heachley Hall by Rachel Walkley was a pleasant and delightful journey through one woman’s discovery of herself, her family and their history.

When Miriam is informed she is heir of her great aunt’s mansion, she is excited to sell it and settle into a more comfortable lifestyle. Her plans are intercepted when she finds out the only way she can take ownership of the mansion is to live it in for one year. With little options left, she concedes to the fact that she will be living in the massive, cold, vacant house alone.

Soon she makes a couple friends in town, and befriends a handyman who lives in the area. She decides living in the house is bearable for one year, except for the unexplained noises, banging and bizarre trails of ash that keep appearing throughout the house. Is it possible her Aunt Felicity left a haunted house to Miriam? On a mission to find out, she sets out to dig up her aunt’s missing box in an effort to solve the mysteries that lie within the walls of Heachley Hall.

This book was an interesting marriage of women’s fiction, multi-generational history, paranormal experiences and even a little romance. It was not a fast-paced read, and the first half was a bit harder to get through than the second half for me. The mystery and secrets really ramped up at the halfway mark and I then became obsessed with finding out what was hiding in Heachley Hall. I am glad I pushed through because the end was unexpected and an enjoyable pay off.

4 fanciful stars

**ARC provided by author for honest review**
Review by Amy, Late Night Reviewer for Up All Night with Books Blog
6 reviews
March 29, 2019
This was a very enigmatic and intriguing read about Miriam who inherits a derelict mansion from her great aunt, and her quest to discover more about her relative and the terms under which the house has been left to her. Although I enjoyed the book, I was disappointed with the number of grammatical, spelling and proof-reading errors littered throughout, which is unusual in a published novel.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Lloyd.
579 reviews44 followers
April 2, 2018
When book illustrator, Miriam Chambers, inherits Great Aunt Felicity’s Victorian mansion in the Norfolk countryside, she discovers it is a poisoned chalice. Either she must live in the run-down cold building for a year and a day or it will be auctioned for charity. Since she is able to work at home she decides to accept the challenge and she employs some local tradesmen to improve the facilities a little. But it is a lonely house set in overgrown woodland and Miriam is grateful when a strange-looking young man comes to the door offering to chop wood and do odd jobs. As the creaks and bangs around the house alarm her, she is pleased when Charles, the reticent young man, provides company.

Increasingly Miriam tries to find the reason for the conditions imposed in her Great Aunt’s will. Was there foul play when she had her accident and what happened years before when part of the house burnt down? This beautifully written mystery weaves a spell around the house and the people connected to it. It is easy to empathise with Miriam but there is a surprising conclusion which you are unlikely to predict. Reminding me of the books of Kate Morton, this is a story for lovers of ghost stories, history and romance. The introductory quote.
“One lives in hope of becoming a memory”
Is an apt description of this haunting story, about the nature of love.
I received an ARC of this book as a member of Rosie Amber's book review team.
Profile Image for Jenny Reeve.
56 reviews3 followers
April 28, 2018
Her Great Aunt Felicity has left Miriam Heachely Hall. But she has to live in the house for one year and one day before she can sell it and collect her money, that are the terms. There are some brilliant spooky moments in the story, you feel as though you are there with Miriam, you feel her fear! Miriam lives in the run down hall day and night where she hears odd noises and things happen that she is unable to explain….there is the weird dust that appears, where is it coming from and what exactly is the dust? With exception to her visits to the local pub and a short visit to her best friend Ruth, Miriam is determined not to be scared away from this strange house.

Then there is the arrival of Charles. A strange man, yet there is something quite captivating about him. There are questions that need to be answered about Great Aunt Felicity, about the history of Heachely Hall and its previous residents and also about Charles. Something does not add up, and Miriam is going to find out the truth!

I utterly loved this book from start to finish. A haunting romance full of intrigue. I was enthralled and had to keep reading, I needed to know what happens next, the end of every chapter left me wanting more.

This is a wonderful book, one I recommend highly, it has to be one of the best books that I have ever read…. and I have read quite a few over the years.

Thank you Rachel for drawing me into the mystery of Heachley Hall and its residents.
Profile Image for Crysti Jane.
248 reviews7 followers
May 20, 2018
** Note: I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. **

The first line of the blurb – “Miriam has one year to uncover Heachley Hall's unimaginable past and a secret that only women can discover.” - was the reason I wanted to read this one. I mean, who doesn’t want to know the secrets of an old mansion?

It took me 2 days to get 31% in. Part of this may be because it is written using British terms rather than American terms and I’ll admit that I am not well versed in British English. The other reason may be because the story moved slow. However, I have a steadfast rule that I try to read an entire ARC and darn it, I still needed to know the secret!

The heroine, Miriam, is a well – written character. She is determined and I like that about her. The hero, Charles, was probably my favorite character in the book. The secondary characters are introduced in a way that you know enough about them but they don’t overpower the main characters.

I was set to give this book 3 stars until I hit 68%. Then I couldn’t put the book down! From that point until the final chapter redeemed the book for me. I finally got the payoffs I had been waiting for – the secret of the house, why great-aunt Felecity left the house to Miriam, and a pivotal point in our main characters’ potential romance. The epilogue was a little flat for me. I wanted to know more about what happened to Miriam and Charles once the year and a day was up.

Overall, I’m glad I finished the book once I started it.

Find all my reviews and more on Book Worms and Couch Potatoes

533 reviews1 follower
May 20, 2020
I absolutely loved this book. The house is almost the main character of this book at one point, but the story behind it with all the people who lived in it is what develops into the up to date past and present.
Cannot really describe the story too much without revealing what happens, so you just have to read for yourselves.
I really would have wanted that this book did not end because I so enjoyed it and could not put it down until the very last page. Excellent first novel Rachel Walkley.
Michele Zito
42 reviews
March 19, 2021
In the beginning I was trapped by the mysterious plot, following Miriam as she tries to understand why she has inherited a decaying mansion from her great-aunt. There are some beautiful descriptions of the Norkfolk region. Yet, I didn't buy into the story of a ghost who overcomes his curse.
It's a "all is good that ends well" story, which may sound great to many readers.
I guess it is just not my type of story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
32 reviews
May 20, 2023
What could have been a great story ended up being long and tedious. As a ghost story it lacked any suspense. It’s not a bad book but it just lacks any ooomph!
11 reviews
November 25, 2018
Very enjoyable

Easy read. Outcome wasn't what I expected but definitely a good story. I would recommend this novel. Will look out for this author again.
Profile Image for Nicola Smith.
900 reviews24 followers
June 14, 2018
I do love a book where a house is central to the story. I always think there's so much that can be uncovered and discovered about its past. So you can see why I was so keen to read The Women of Heachley Hall.

Miriam is a 28 year old illustrator living in Chelmsford. Until, that is, she inherits her late great-aunt Felicity's mansion house, Heachley Hall in Norfolk. Unfortunately, it's in a bit of a state and although it's habitable, it's far from ideal to live in. But live in it Miriam must, for a year and a day in fact, if she is to fully inherit the place. Why Felicity placed such a demand on her is something that keeps Miriam occupied for much of the novel. What is the significance of a box that she knows Felicity took with her to the care home where she ended her days? And what is it about handyman/gardener, Charles, that both intrigues and puzzles her?

Well, to find all that out you need to read the book because I'm not going to tell you. What I will say is that I found this to be a book of two halves (or maybe three thirds, but you know what I mean). The beginning of the book is a little slow and drawn out. I wanted more to happen than Miriam getting her cupboard doors sanded down (not a euphemism!). I was as frustrated with her lack of progress as she was. There were things happening around the house that hinted at something much more and grrr, I wanted to know what! But then.....well, it took off and started to get really interesting. Secrets started to come to light and the house's history started to unfold. I was intrigued by the little facts that were being revealed and wondering where the story would go next.

I then got to a bit where I actually said out loud, and rather incredulously, "what?!?!?". I could hardly believe the turn events were taking and wasn't sure how I felt about it, but what followed was beautifully written and perfectly executed and more than made up for what I felt was quite a lot of scene setting in the early parts of the story. I think it was quite a gamble writing something so unusual but the author pulls it off really well and I found myself smiling and rooting for the characters so much in that last third.

The Women of Heachley Hall is a lovely, mysterious tale of a woman, a house, long forgotten events and one major wowser moment!
1,448 reviews9 followers
May 6, 2018
This is a fantastic debut book. The characters are easy to fall in love with, the descriptions to details were done nicely and so easy to visualize and the dialogue flowed so well with these characters to make you feel as if you are a part of the conversation

This author knows how to write deep, rich, and colorful characters that are easy to relate to and fall in love with. Her story flows smoothly and has enough twists to keep you guessing. It has an interesting blend of suspense, action, and danger.
11.5k reviews50 followers
May 4, 2018
she cant believe her luck when she inherits the hall. there is a condition she has to stay in it for a year and a day. the hall is in disrepair and there is a mystery there she must solve. see if she can solve it

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Karen.
1,558 reviews16 followers
May 5, 2018
This book is intriguing and interesting paranormal romance. The character inherited a mansion that she wants to find what happened there. I liked reading this book.
4,481 reviews26 followers
April 30, 2018
a haunting story of love and redemption.

what mysteries lies within and behind the walls a no longer quite so young woman inherits from her Aunt?

enticing paranormal thriller / romance.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Audrey.
418 reviews4 followers
September 30, 2019
I wanted to give this 10 stars, I absolutely loved it. I don’t do spoilers so all I will say is buy this book. Highly recommended! So wish there was a follow up book !
289 reviews3 followers
October 25, 2018
Farfetched but enjoyable

This wasn't what I was expecting a bit daft but netherless an easy enjoyable story. It is only fiction after all!
Profile Image for Joanne Lidford.
153 reviews6 followers
April 14, 2019
Was really enjoying this until the “big reveal”, when it became too silly for words. Very disappointing.
Profile Image for Charlotte.
29 reviews
March 2, 2021
****I have tried to avoid spoilers but some are difficult not to hint at!****

A story about secrets, love and loss.
Miriam is left the sole heir of a Norfolk estate in the will of a great aunty who she hasn't seen since she was a child. However there is a stipulation, she can only inherit the estates fortune if she agrees to live there... alone, for a year and a day. This book is a mystery / romance / suspense with an element of the supernatural.

I did enjoy this book and in many ways found it very easy to read. I considered the characters to me okay written and easy to like. The description of the hall certainly painted a picture as did those the surrounding areas and the locals.

However.... the story is so long, and for me not in a good way!
Normally I enjoy a long read but unfortunately I found the focus lay far to much on insignificant things, that added nothing to the story. Personally I would have loved to have read more about the "past" and certainly about Great Aunt Felicity's life in India and after moving to the UK. She was such a wonderful and colourful character who just got lost and forgotten about. The occasional snipets we did get just felt like an after thought or a way to tie off an inconvenient loose end.

Another reason I can not give this book a higher rating than a 3 star rating may seem controversial.... But the ending! It was so obvious what was going to happen and felt again like a massive disappointment! I have read many books similar to this and felt that it didn't take a genius to figure it out or know what plot twists were about to happen.

I would actually have liked the more evocative ending, the one that would have made me question how I would deal with the situation. This book is not sold as being a low drama summer romance sort of book, so why it suddenly became such is beyond me. There would have been so many opportunities for Miriam to investigate more about the history of the tenents and the house. For her to deal with the knowledge and decide what to do with it... To explore those element of darkness and light. There could still have be a happy ending but not in the clichéd and unimaginative way it occurred.

I probably won't read this again, however I am willing to give the author's other books a go as her actual writing style is okay, with descriptive language and some interesting characters. Unfortunately for me this book just fell a bit short and didn't really do enough of any of its supposed genres.
477 reviews
March 31, 2021
A lost woman and a lost man find each other in a dilapidated, old, Victorian manor house, the Heachley Hall of the title. Miriam is an illustrator of children’s books living in a very small flat in Chelmsford when she is contacted by a solicitor. She has inherited Heachley Hall from her Great Aunt Felicity but only if she lives there for a year and a day. After that time, she can do what she likes with it. Felicity actually died some time previously and spent her last few years in a nursing home so Heachley Hall has been unoccupied for a considerable period when Miriam first arrives. Add to that the fact that Felicity had never spent money on the upkeep of the house and Miriam is faced with a daunting task. She has very limited funds to spare so plans to live in the smallest way possible whilst doing the bare minimum to make the house saleable. She has no idea why her great aunt put such a strange stipulation into the will but the likely prize of a million pounds is too tempting to walk away from.

Miriam appears to have no family and only one friend in the world so she is very alone. Her mother, Felicity’s niece, died when she was ten. Her father couldn’t cope and ended up moving abroad and dying in an accident when Miriam was hardly out of her teens. Felicity was a distant childhood memory of sparse visits. There is no other surviving family from either side. There have been relationships but no one special. Her one friend, Ruth, is both a primary teacher and an author of children’s books so time together is limited. So Miriam is all alone and likely to stay that way when she moves into Heachley Hall in October, a house without heating or cooking facilities. To add to the feeling of isolation, the house being haunted is mentioned when she’s having lunch in the local pub. Heachley Hall does have it’s share of mysterious noises, strange dust and peculiar mists. But Miriam doesn’t believe in ghosts... yet.

A ghost story, a love story and a mystery, The Women of Heachley Hall did keep me entertained. It’s three stars from me. I found the writing a little uneven, going from an uncommon word like turbidity to slang and back again. I also found parts a bit too gothic horror with lots of repetitive panting and the ending a bit too syrupy but those are matters of personal taste. However, I did find the plot line inventive and different enough.
1 review
June 28, 2020
A fabulous read with wonderful characters

If you are looking for a good read with wonderful characters with an unusual outcome then this book for you.

Miriam has inherited a mansion from a long forgotten aunt but with a stipulation of staying for a year and a day. If she does not then she wavers the inheritance. No problem there you say, but the house is in disrepair, she must actually live in the house and work from there as if she already owns it. The heating doesn't work, there is no proper kitchen, the plumbing needs attention and Miriam has little spare money to spend on the property. The solicitor is looking out for himself and is less than keen to help Miriam sort things out. Then arrives Charles, gardener, carpenter and general handyman. What transpires will leaving you shouting at either Charles or Miriam to stop making excuses and get together ......but is it really that easy? I will not spoil the story, just read it for yourself and enjoy.
Profile Image for PJ.
296 reviews
June 25, 2022
Well, just when you think you know what a books going to be it does a complete 180 into something else!

This book about a woman who inherits an old decrepit mansion from her deceased aunt was nothing new. We have all read books about people inheriting old houses that have secrets to tell, mysteries to unwind and possibly a few ghosts hanging out for good measure.

This book is no different except for the love story at the end which is quite surprising but very gently done.

In fact, the entire book was a soft, gentle read but not displeasing. It kept me glued for a couple of days and at the end it was a sigh of “Awww true love” instead of a sigh of relief that the book was over (which, believe me, is how I closed some dreadful reads recently!)

If you’re looking for a gentle read about an old house, Victorian attitudes, forgiveness and love then this is the book for you. Would I read it again? Probably not…..but I’m glad I did… this once.
Profile Image for June Churchill.
190 reviews2 followers
May 5, 2020
It's difficult to review this without giving away the story. It's not the sort of book I usually read but I was gripped after a few pages. Basically the main character is left a mansion by her great aunt, whom she's only met a few times in her childhood. The stipulation to her inheritance is that Miriam has to live in the house for a year and a day before she sells it. Why? She researches the history of the house and makes some strange discoveries.
I really enjoyed the book but the author needs to know the difference between scalding and scolding. A couple of times she described something as being scolding when she meant very hot. There were a few other mistakes that a proof reader should have spotted, but saying that it didn't spoil my love of the book. I thoroughly recommend it.
Profile Image for Angela Sandford.
169 reviews5 followers
December 30, 2018
I always enjoys books that have location settings near to where I live, coupled with a big house, it was my kind of story!
The story focussed on Charles, and the women that inhabited Heachley Hall. The last woman to take over Heachley Hall, was Miriam, a children’s illustrator, who inherited the Hall from her great Aunt. The Hall needs considerable work doing to it, and Charles helps Miriam to do up the property with a view to selling.
There are strict stipulations regarding Miriam’s inheritance...has she the nerve to see it through?

4/5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

First book I’ve read from this author...I will look out for more of her work, for sure.
Profile Image for Teddi.
938 reviews
June 7, 2019
An engaging story but I had already guessed the twist.
I docked stars for 2 things. First, Miriam really annoyed me. She has inherited this derelict house yet she never does a single bit of work to improve it other than buying a few sticks of furniture. She never offers to help or to learn. She just comes across as entitled. What really pissed me off was when she started going thru Charles' things - I almost stopped reading at that point.
And I agree with other reviewers - there were quite a number of grammatical errors that should have been caught
Displaying 1 - 30 of 66 reviews

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