Title: The Daughters of Foxcote Manor by Eve Chase
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 365 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
An isolated forest estate.
A family with a terrible secret.
The discovery that changes everything.
England, 1970. On the one-year anniversary of the Harrington family’s darkest night, their beautiful London home goes up in flames. Mrs. Harrington, the two children, and live-in nanny Rita relocate to Foxcote Manor, ostensibly to recuperate. But the creeping forest, where lost things have a way of coming back, is not as restful as it seems. When thirteen-year-old Hera discovers a baby girl abandoned just beyond their garden gate, this tiniest, most wondrous of secrets brings a much-needed sunlit peace, until a visitor detonates the family’s tenuous happiness. All too soon a body lies dead in the woods.
Forty years later, London-based Sylvie is an expert at looking the other way. It’s how she stayed married to her unfaithful husband for more than twenty years. But she’s turned over a new leaf, having left him for a fresh start. She buried her own origin story decades ago, never imagining her teenage daughter would have a shocking reason to dig the past up–and to ask Sylvie to finally face the secrets that lead her back to Foxcote Manor.
The Daughters of Foxcote Manor by Eve Chase is an atmospheric, twist-filled mystery.
In 1971, Rita is the Harrington family nanny. She is young but she loves thirteen year old Hera and six year old Teddy Harrington. Following a tragedy, Walter Harrington insists she, his wife Jeannie and the children spend a few weeks at Foxcote Manor, the family’s dilapidated house in the forest. Much to her discomfort, Rita is expected to keep detailed notes about Jeannie’s behavior for Walter. The forest is eerie but the children love spending time exploring their surroundings. Rita is concerned about Jeannie but an unexpected visitor helps raise her spirits. As does the discovery of an abandoned baby girl that she insists on keeping despite Rita’s unease. With Walter’s visit fast approaching, Rita grows increasingly concerned about the situation at the Manor.
In the present, Sylvie Broom is making much needed changes in her life. Unfortunately eighteen year old Annie is not exactly pleased with her mum’s choices. Just as she is trying to settle into her new routine, Sylvie is devastated when her mum is seriously injured in an accident. At the same time, changes in Annie’s situation lead to an exploration of their family’s past. After years of avoiding delving into her history, Sylvie finally decides it is time to look into the secrets her mum has been very reluctant to reveal. But is she prepared for the revelations awaiting her?
Weaving back and forth in time, The Daughters of Foxcote Manor is a compelling mystery. Rita is a delightful young woman but she soon finds herself out of her depth. Sylvie is finally breaking free of the inertia that has prevented her from finding happiness. The suspense builds with each passing chapter and Eve Chase weaves past and present into a very satisfying conclusion.