The Folly at Falconbridge Hall by Maggi Andersen

UK Release Date – December 2012/ US release MAy 2013
Publisher – Knox Robinson Publishing Ltd.

BLURB:

Vanessa Ashley felt herself qualified for a position as governess, until offered the position at Falconbridge Hall. Left penniless after the deaths of her artist father and suffragette mother, Vanessa Ashley draws on her knowledge of art, politics, and history to gain employment as a governess. She discovers that Julian, Lord Falconbridge, requires a governess for his ten-year-old daughter Blyth at Falconbridge Hall, in the countryside outside London. Lord Falconbridge is a scientist and dedicated lepidopterist who is about to embark on an extended expedition to the Amazon. An enigmatic man, he takes a keen interest in his daughter’s education. As she prepares her young charge, Vanessa finds the girl detached and aloof. As Vanessa learns more about Falconbridge Hall, more questions arise. Why doesn’t Blythe feel safe in her own home? Why is the death of her mother, once famed society beauty Clara, never spoken of? And why did the former governess leave so suddenly without giving notice?

RFHL CLassifications:

Romantic Mystery/Suspense
Victorian Period
Heat Rating – 2
3.5 Stars

REVIEW BY SABRINA

Vanessa Ashley has lost her parents, her home and is at the mercy of her estranged Uncle. Feeling unwanted in his home she seeks a governess job and luckily finds a position quickly. Her charge is a 10 year old little girl name Blythe. It is here the story opens and we are welcomed to Falconbridge Hall, Clapham, England.

Vanessa is very optimistic regarding the success of her position and determines to be a good role model to Blythe. The bond between the two is immediate. The trust and friendship is unmistakable and adds a sweet balance to the rest of the story.

As Vanessa comes to love Blythe, she is also taking notice of Lord Falconbridge – Blythe’s father. While very busy studying and arranging for his departure, Vanessa learns he is also a doting father, who takes much interest in his daughter’s teachings. Vanessa feels drawn to him and as she tries to come to terms with the feelings he provokes in her she asks herself – am I attracted to him?

Throughout this story there is an underlying uneasiness surrounding the estate. A comment here an action there; all created to maintain an illusion to mystery. Is there something going on at Falconbridge Hall or is Vanessa at fault for letting her thoughts get the better of her? I enjoyed the slow buildup of suspense that was hinted at throughout the book. At various points, I thought I knew what was to happen only to be surprised at the turn in direction.

The Folly at Falconbridge Hall is a charming, quick read that entertains readers with a love story and a mystery.

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