- File Size: 874 KB
- Print Length: 283 pages
- Publisher: Endeavour Press (October 13, 2015)
- Publication Date: October 13, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B016N0M30A
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,443 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Amberwell (Ayrton Family Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It tells the story of a family and it's amusing to see how little the parents care for their children. Nannie does everything, she is their mother in every sense of the word and the two strangers living on the floor below are Mother and Father. So if you are into Evelyn Waugh or Dorothy Whipple, this is in their catagory, if not in their league, and for $3.99 it was a good read.
Amberwell is a house, not quite a home, and almost a character in itself. A beautiful house, owned by a wealthy man and his frugal wife, who manages to run the place with the help of only eight servants. There are some assorted children, but the parents needn't bother about them. That is the job of the nurse and the nannie. The children have learned well to stay far from the notice of of the parents and are generally successful. It becomes more difficult as they age, especially for the three girls. The boys are sent off to good boarding schools, of course, but the girls are educated at home.
Connie, the oldest girl, takes after her mother and is much concerned with clothes and boys. She speaks right up and carries her weight in a conversation or social situation. The two younger girls are very shy and terrified of their mother and being forced into the spotlight. Unfortunately they have no obvious beauty of compensate for their lack of social skills and are usually not included. They live in a world that consists of themselves and the nanny. When they are separated, it is a devastating rupture that threatens to become permanent.
Connie marries well, of course, but the brothers are ripped away by the storm of war, and Nell is left alone to run the house with the help of an aging staff, down to a gardener, a cook, and elderly nanny. Since the house and grounds are quite large, this is barely adequate. The father is dead by this time, and the elderly mother barely notices so long as she has what she needs for her own comfort.
So where is the comfort in this? It is in the writing, of course, but also in the characters who love their home and each other very much in spite of the obstacles life puts in their place. They're rather like the people who eat Powdermilk Biscuits. They have the strength to get up and do what needs to be done. When the staff leave to do their part in the war effort, Nell learns how to cook, how to make up a bed, how to tell the difference between a flower and a weed. She does it without whining because it must be done, and there is no one else. It mostly comes right in the end.
As with all Stevenson's books, I am sorry when it ends, because it doesn't really end, it just stops. This is not a romance with a guaranteed HEA, or a mystery where all the ends are tied up neatly. These are real people, whose lives continue past the last page, and the reader is sorry to leave their company when it is time to go.
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