I picked this up at the library, knowing nothing about it, because it’s yet another book about an old house. Sophy Winter has spent years working for other people in historic houses when she inherits one of her own. There’s a classic chick lit set up when she gets there: attractive but horrible man and man she takes a dislike to but the reader knows is right for her. I liked all the detail in this book about the house, the furnishings and how they are restored plus a lot of information about reconstructing an historic garden.
This book is recommended for people who like Katie Fforde. I've enjoyed several of KF's books but her crown may be slipping. A Winter's Tale is much better than Stately Pursuits because of all the detail I've mentioned. This may be chick lit but it's very intelligently written (that's not meant to be as patronising as it sounds). I liked the way that all the elements are there for gothic horror; a ghost, a challenge to the inheritance, rivals in love but Sophy's common sense prevails in the manner of Georgette Heyer's stronger-minded heroines.
I should write in very small letters that I much preferred it to The Little Stranger; I'm going right off literary fiction in favour of the well written, unpretentiously enjoyable. Having said that, I've just picked up my library-ordered copy of this
I'm the very first person to read it! We'll see how I get on with 650 (gulp) pages. I was pleased to spot another Dandy Gilver Murder Mystery while I was there. Less pleased that it was on one of those awful carousels instead of in the crime fiction section where I'd been looking for it. And Howards End is on the Landing is not in their system yet but I'll be first when it is. Ha ha!