Friday, 30 August 2013

Fiennders Abbey

Hello everyone ! How are you ? I hope you've all had a great summer !
Today I'm going to talk to you about Fiennders Abbey, one of the books I've read during my summer holidays.
Fiennders Abbey is a book written by Jean Marsh and first published in 1996.
The book is set in rural England at the end of the nineteenth century and tells the story of the protagonist Mary Bowden.
Here's what is written on the back cover :
"Mary Bowden is pretty, intelligent and ambitious. She is also daughter of the gamekeeper at Fiennders Abbey. Her close childhood friendship with Richard, son of Thomas Fiennders and heir to the estate, is quickly threatened as they grow older. Richard is destined for Oxford and business ; Mary for life as a tradesman's wife, and motherhood. As forces conspire to keep them separate, their enduring affection is tested even more."

Although this might be a very simple and classical plot, there are a lot of side characters, each with their own story to tell, such as Ann (the mistress of the house and Richard's mother), who has a secret affair with the gardener.

A particular feature of the novel is that, even if most of the book takes place at the end of the nineteenth century, the final chapters are set in the 1940's and the 1990's, which I found a little bit confusing at the beginning, because there are many new characters, who are in fact the descendants of Mary Bowden an the other main characters, and their story is a bit disconnected from the main plot.

Otherwise, I think this novel pictures very well life in rural england at that time, although it is not really a historical novel.

Overall, this is a very beautiful novel, very gripping and emotional. I strongly recommend it to you. :)

If you want to read some extracts of the book, here's a link :
Some Extracts of Fiennders Abbey

Have you read this book ? Did you like it ?
Have a great day :)