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Larkswood by Valerie Mendes

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

On becoming unwell, London society girl, Louisa, is packed off to her grandfather, Edward, in the country and well attended by his staff. She builds a relationship with the old man and becomes enchanted with the house, Larkswood, and upon recovering opts to stay. While exploring the house she discovers a painting which shows her grandfather with two sisters. Louisa confronts him, he becomes short-tempered and she knows he is hiding something. So begins a wonderful family drama of dead babies, disgrace and hidden secrets in a most satisfying read of high drama, lovely dual period detail of the 1930s and the 1890s and a fascinating plot. Highly recommended.

If you like Valerie Mendes you might also like to read books by Kate Furnivall, Santa Montefiore and Julia Gregson.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Larkswood by Valerie Mendes

Larkswood House. The very name suggests birdsong, peace and elegance. It is home to the Hamilton children - Edward, Cynthia and Harriet - who enjoy the freedom and excitement of privilege. But in the glorious summer of 1896, with absent parents and a departed governess, disaster strikes the family, leaving it cruelly divided. More than 40 years later, on the eve of the Second World War, Louisa Hamilton, newly presented at court but struck down with glandular fever, is sent to Larkswood to recuperate. There, for the first time, she meets her grandfather, Edward, home after decades in India. But as Louisa begins to fall under the spell of Larkswood, she realises it holds the key to the mystery that shattered her family two generations before. Will she find the courage to unravel the dark secrets of the past? And can Larkswood ever become home to happiness again?


'This impressive debut captures the period beautifully, but also delivers a gripping mystery that'll keep you hooked until the end' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

'If there's a beautiful old house on a book's cover, I want a family saga of richness and breadth, a mystery that runs through that family like a San Andreas fault, captivating characters and gorgeous atmosphere. And this has it all ... Scrumptious storytelling.' -- Kate Saunders SAGA MAGAZINE

'An enjoyable family saga with tones of a darker Downtown Abbey' WE LOVE THIS BOOK

About the Author

Valerie Mendes started her working life as a journalist, before moving into book publishing where she worked with Oxford University Press, Penguin Books and Elsevier among others. She lives in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

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Book Info

Publication date

20th November 2014


Valerie Mendes

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Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co


464 pages


Historical Fiction
Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Historical fiction



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