Hana's Reviews > Mistress of Mellyn

Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt
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really liked it
bookshelves: gothic-scary, romance

An entertaining Gothic with much to like for genre fans.

Martha Leigh, is a gentlewoman, orphaned with no income. What to do? In Victorian times, with few options, she must become a governess to a lonely and difficult child in a country manor in Cornwall.

I loved the Cornish setting--I kept picturing those cliff scenes in the BBC version of Poldark.

Marty was a pleasant and believable heroine and Connan was okay, but somehow the romance never clicked with me. (view spoiler)

Far better than the romance was the story of the two children befriended by Marty--an unusual feature in a Gothic romance. I fell for both girls and loved how Marty, eventually, and not without her own inner struggles, came to care for and protect them.

Lots of great details on Cornish houses. I'm a sucker for that sort of thing and amused myself by finding houses that fit the descriptions.

Cotehele House is a Cornwall manse dating from the 16th century. This is the Great Room with the high ceilings and exposed beams like those at Mellyn that so impressed Marty.

For fun, some pictures of Elizabethan era houses in Cornwall. This is Ebbingford Manor, from a postcard of 1896.

This is Trerice another grand manor in Cornwall of one of the landed families.

A big issue for me was the often clunky dialog--it did not feel right for the period. The plot was interesting, though, and the story moves along with enough clever twists to keep me turning the pages.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 6, 2017 – Shelved
August 13, 2017 – Shelved as: gothic-scary
August 13, 2017 – Shelved as: romance

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Catie (new)

Catie I LOVE Victoria Holt!

message 2: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ (last edited Aug 13, 2017 12:58PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ Love those pictures. This was the first Holt I read & I still have a fondness for it.
The actress in the first picture would be a good choice to play Marty, if this is ever televised.

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