by Sandra Ardoin
There can be only one mistress of Tall Acre …
My favorite genre to read way back when was modern Gothic Romance. Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, Daphne DuMaurier, Anne Maybury … I loved them all. Maybe that’s one reason why I found Laura Frantz’s new release The Mistress of Tall Acre to be so scrumptious. (Oh yes, I did say scrumptious!) In many ways, the story follows the pattern set out by those authors, as well as the ones who came before them, such as Charlotte Brontë with Jane Eyre.
The book opens with the birth of General Seamus Ogilvy’s daughter, but the story itself takes place just after the end of the American Revolution five years later.
Sophie Menzies, ekes out an existence at her family’s Virginia estate, alone if not for two servants. Her brother went off to fight as a Patriot, but has been missing for some time. Her mother is dead, and her father, a Tory, left for England years ago. Though Sophie considers herself a Patriot, because of him, she’s a pariah.
After the war, Seamus returns to his estate, Tall Acre, a widower with a young daughter he can’t relate to without Sophie’s help. As he seeks to rebuild his life and estate, he helps Sophie survive and struggles with his wife’s sister to retain guardianship of his daughter.
What can I say about Laura Frantz’s writing other than she has a knack for sweeping the reader up into the time period, the setting, the lives of her characters. This is a beautiful story of a woman who has nothing but faith to sustain her in life, and a man who must find his faith in order to live.
My only disappointment came late in the book when I felt the story temporarily slipped a tad into melodrama through Sophie’s actions and reactions. Even so, in reading, I left the outside world to relish a somewhat brooding Seamus, a setting shrouded in mystery, and seemingly unrequited love.
I‘m putting The Mistress of Tall Acre on my virtual Best Reads of 2015 list. I think you should check it out and see if it belongs on yours. 🙂
Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the publisher, Revell Publishing, with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.