The Inheritance is a little different from what I normally read, but it was still a book that I really enjoyed & I learnt quite a lot as well (which I feel is always a bonus)!
I was sent this book to review as part of blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
⚠ This book contains scenes of a miscarriage & description of domestic violence ⚠
The Inheritance is a dual-timeline contemporary story, with just a little bit of spooky magic thrown in; the story follows the lives of two women, Tess & her ancestor Eugénie. Tess is a doctor who’s bored of her life in England & is hunting for an adventure when she’s left her great-aunt’s large house in Guernsey; Eugénie is recently-widowed & soon after she loses her unborn child too – just when Eugénie thinks her world has fallen apart, in comes the legendary Victor Hugo & his mistress Juliette. Tess slowly discovers more about her ancestor’s life with Victor, whilst deciding what she wants from her new one.
I was actually a lot more addicted to this story than I thought I would be – & not just to the historical timeline either… I liked Tess & enjoyed her parts of the book almost as much as I liked Eugénie’s – though Tess’s life seemed a little too perfect at times, & too many people were far too kind to her! Although I did enjoy the whole book, Eugénie’s part of the story was incredibly interesting & I was always desperate to get to her next chapter. I could have easily read Eugénie’s story as an individual book, but probably wouldn’t have enjoyed Tess’s as it would have been a bit too much of a romance on it’s own.
One thing I really enjoyed about Anne’s writing was how obvious it was that she genuinely adores Guernsey; it’s a place I’ve never been to & knew little about, but now I’m intrigued by it’s history & would love to live in one of the wonderful houses that Anne has described in the novel. Anne’s writing in itself was very good too, although sometimes it felt like some of Eugénie’s diary entries were missing – I’m not sure if this was because Tess skipped over these parts though, so it could have been deliberate. Nevertheless, I wish I could have read more about Eugénie’s life away from Victor & Juliette as I found the historical period on the island really engaging.
I also liked the characters in the book – all of them, in both timelines, had depth & the setting descriptions were almost infectious. I could imagine a lot of what I was reading, & as world-building is a big deal for me, this was definitely something that really helped me to enjoy the story. Additionally, I learnt a lot about a man who was only a name to me before this book – Victor Hugo has been painted to be a wonderful person in this story, whether he was in real life I have no idea, but a part of me hopes that he really did change people’s lives for the better, like he did with the fictional Eugénie.
I only have two little niggles however, one is that Tess’s romance went from hate to love very quickly in my opinion, & as I’m not a big romance lover I was a little disappointed that the romance took attention away from Tess’s investigations into Eugénie’s life. My other little niggle was more to do with the editing than the actual writing, as there were no clear indications of when time had jumped in Tess’s timeline, making it a bit confusing at times. I don’t really blame that on Anne though.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed The Inheritance (I’m also very jealous of Tess’s new home & life); Tess’s ending was very happy whilst Euginie’s was very sad, but the contrasts between the two lives was presented very well. Both timelines were interesting & I liked both protags but as always with dual timelines I preferred the historical one. I knew nothing about Victor Hugo before this book so I’ve learnt a lot in that respect, & it’s made me curious about Guernsey. It was a nice change from my usual reads & was a very grounding story to read.
There are six other stories in this series & you can find all of them on Amazon by clicking here.
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 2018.
You can find Anne’s website here.
Win a copy of The Inheritance & a Notebook
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