Joanna Albemarle, a young Englishwoman, finds her peaceful life on her family's ancestral estate, where she meets her first love, tragically interrupted by World War II. By the author of In the Shadow of the Nile & The Last Reunion.
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In prewar Britain, young narrator Joanna Albemarle learns that her father has been posted to the Far East and that she will stay with her paternal grandparents at Reckmire Marsh, their lovely seaside home in northern England, which her domineering mother has never allowed her to visit. Joanna's years there are idyllic, but when she is 15 her her parents divorce and she must live with her hateful mother. Though the onset of war frees Joanna from her mother's grip (she joins the WRENS), it also means the loss of her adored cousin and lover, Robin, who is shot down over Normandy, and of many of her childhood illusions. Bequeathed Reckmire by her grandparents after war's end, Joanna is persuaded by Robin's best friend, Paul Cheviot, to transform the house and grounds into a country inn. They marry, but Paul proves a beast on their wedding night; when further tragedy comes her way, Joanna's steely determination sees her through. There's no depth here, but Hylton (The Shadow of the Nile) has command of her atmospheric setting and maintains a quick pace.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From a popular historical romance novelist comes this graceful, well-written saga of a young woman trying to preserve her ancient family estate in World War II England. Despite her domineering mother's wishes, young Joanna Albemarle has come to love Reckmire, the desolate manor perched on a cliff above the churning Atlantic, her father's boyhood home. When the war breaks up her family, and soon after that her grandparents die, Joanna inherits the abandoned mansion. Determined not to lose the place that was so dear to her father, Joanna marries the one man she believes can help her, despite her conflicting feelings for him and his overbearing, domineering personality. A secret love and many other twists and turns ensue as Joanna tries to sort out her life and keep Reckmire for her family. The carefully paced narrative, meticulous attention to detail, and elements of surprise ensure that fans of the genre will find it hard to put this down. Kathleen Hughes
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