Thursday, July 2, 2015

FAIRFIELD HALL - my chosen holiday read.

Margaret Dickinson at her best - and that is always a treat for lovers of sagas.

The beginning of the story set in Lincolnshire had me intrigued. A modern day miss visiting Fairfield Hall and having a deep interest in a portrait of Lady Annabel, who had lived in the hall a hundred years ago. But, I wasn't to find out why the interest until the end of the book.

The story inbetween had me gripped. Told by a guide working in the Hall, but lived by the reader in real time, Lady Annabel's life unfolds.

It is both tragic and uplifting. It had me crying, hoping, heartwarmed, devastated, afraid, and ultimately happy. Shouldn't all author's novels take you through these emotions? Margaret never fails to.

Annabel is a pawn in the game of life - a game played by her father, her husband and her evil sister-in-law, for their own gain, But none of them realize her strength. This she uses to help the starving villagers of Fairfield and to restore the estate to former glory, but her path is strewn with the difficulties that these three put in her path.

Her achievements on behalf of the villagers are amazing, but even they cannot save her from the scandal that her sister-in-law invents. Banished, but not alone, Annabel gives her life to three boys, her own son, her sister-in-laws son and and the illegitimate son of her late brother-in-law.

Through her efforts these cousins come together in a friendship that is not tarred by the fact that each one of them have a claim to the inheritance of Fairfield Hall and estate. They make a pact that will sort out the feud of the family over who should ultimately inherit. The First World War decides.

And so the present day comes back into play and revelations are made of the outcome and a future is decided from it.

A brilliant read. A page-turner that had me not leaving my sun-bed all day on the last day of my holiday as I had to find out the ending. Thank You Margaret for hours of enjoyment.

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