Friday, 29 December 2017

Cephalopod Coffeehouse: 29 December 2017

The last Friday in the month is the time for  Cephalopod Coffeehouse.  

This is a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the works they enjoyed most over the previous month.  

Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.  

Hosted by:

The book I am reviewing today has a 4* rating from me. 

371 pages


Considered a troublesome burden, Evelyn Talbot is banished by her family to their remote country house. Tall Chimneys is hidden in a damp and gloomy hollow. It is outmoded and inconvenient but Evelyn is determined to save it from the fate of so many stately homes at the time - abandonment or demolition.

Occasional echoes of tumult in the wider world reach their sequestered backwater - the strident cries of political extremists, a furore of royal scandal, rumblings of the European war machine. But their isolated spot seems largely untouched. At times life is hard - little more than survival. At times it feels enchanted, almost outside of time itself. The woman and the house shore each other up - until love comes calling, threatening to pull them asunder. 

Her desertion will spell its demise, but saving Tall Chimneys could mean sacrificing her hope for happiness, even sacrificing herself. 

A century later, a distant relative crosses the globe to find the house of his ancestors. What he finds in the strange depression of the moor could change the course of his life forever.

One woman, one house, one hundred years.



A powerful read, well written chronicling one women’s long life, over 100 years, although the book doesn’t go into the last 50 odd or so years of her life, otherwise it would be a huge missive.  Evelyn is out of place in her family, a late child, treated poorly by her family, treated as barely a duty, stuck in the depths of Yorkshire in a crumbling mansion.  The house is her home, its secret corridors and outdoor byways her own secret places.  

As adulthood crashes in on her, she finds life in the real world is not easy, she is abused, physically and emotionally.  She finds love with a visiting artist who travels a lot.  World War II breaks out and everything changes.

This is a story of love, lust, tragedy and family, of social stigmas, class divides, loyalty and pulling together in adversity.  The epilogue brings the whole book together.  

It’s never boring, cleverly written, atmospheric and a very enjoyable read if you like a family saga with one main character which I certainly did. 


  1. Sounds interesting, and more than a little sad.

    Happy New Year, Sally!

  2. It doesn't really sound like my kind of thing.

  3. Sounds like a complex and sad story. I'm glad you enjoyed it.