by Anne Allen
1862 Young widow Eugénie faces an uncertain future in Guernsey when her husband dies at sea. A further tragedy brings her to the attention of Monsieur Victor Hugo, exiled on the island and living in his voluptuous house only yards away from Eugénie. Their meeting changes her life and she begins working for him as a copyist, forming a strong friendship with both Hugo and his mistress, Juliette Drouet.
2012 Doctor Tess Le Prevost, born in Guernsey, now living in Exeter, is shocked to inherit her Great-Aunt’s house on the island. As a child she listened to Aunt Doris’s tales of their ancestor, Eugénie, whose house this once was, and who, according to family myth, was particularly close to Hugo. Was he the father of her child? Tess doubts it, but inheriting the house allows her to make a fresh start in her beloved island.
Will she discover the truth about Eugénie and Hugo? A surprise find may hold the answer as Tess embraces new challenges which test her strength – and her heart.
There is nothing I like better than a great historical fiction novel, and this one didn’t disappoint. And…the icing on the cake is that it’s based on a the talented Victor Hugo! I couldn’t get enough of this book!
The novel is told by two different narrators and in two time periods. Eugenie is from France, but she finds herself all alone in England after losing her husband in a tragic accident. If that wasn’t bad enough, she suffers another tragedy when she is assisted by Victor Hugo himself and his mistress, Juliette Drouet. Little did she know that this would change the course of her life and her descendants.
Tess is a doctor who was born in Guernsey but lives in Exeter after her parents moved her when she and her brother were just children. She is very successful, but she is questioning the direction of her life. When she learns she has inherited her great aunt’s home on Guernsey after her death, she returns and like Eugenie, her life will change course as well.
Both women are strong and didn’t really realize their strength until life forces them to. Both of them just enthralled me. I was just amazed by them. I loved getting to know them.
Of course, what made this book so special as well was the secondary characters, such as Victor Hugo, Juliette, Jack, and even to a certain extent, Doris. In addition, the storyline itself with the secrets and mystery just kept my attention from beginning to end. Anne Allen combined all these elements seamlessly to give her readers one heck of a read!!!!
About Anne Allen
Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children, and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.
By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist, but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, six having been published and the seventh, The Inheritance, is due out in April 2019.
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