A matter of honour. A sense of duty. A time for courage.
Ruthlessly ambitious Ambrose Constantine is determined that his daughter, Annabel, shall marry into the nobility. A self-made trawler owner and fish merchant, he has only his wealth to buy his way into Society.
When Annabel's secret meetings with a young man employed at her father's offices stop suddenly, she finds that Gilbert has mysteriously disappeared. Heartbroken, she finds solace with her grandparents on their Lincolnshire farm, but her father will not allow her to bury herself in the countryside and enlists the help of a business connection to launch his daughter into Society.
During the London Season, Annabel is courted by James Lyndon, the Earl of Fairfield, whose country estate is only a few miles from her grandfather's farm. Believing herself truly loved at last, Annabel accepts his offer of marriage. It is only when she arrives at Fairfield Hall that she realises the true reason behind James's proposal and the part her scheming father has played.
Through the years that follow, Annabel will know both heartache and joy, but the birth of her son should secure the future of the Fairfield Estate. Yet there are others who lay claim to the inheritance in a feud that will not be resolved until the trenches of a bitter world war.
©2014 Margaret Dickinson (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd
Clearly you are supposed to love the main character, Annabel, but I found her like fingernails on a chalk board. Everyone acted like she was lovely, capable and completely selfless, but I thought she came across as naive and self-righteous. And while I don’t expect perfect historical accuracy, I found the characters’ attitudes too unrealistic- I lost count of the number of times characters parroted Annabel’s view that the bastard son of the previous Lord would have been a part of the family except for an “accident of birth.” I just wasn’t invested in the characters or the story. 3 or 4 times I gave it up and listened to other books, only returning to this story because I didn’t have anything else currently loaded on my phone. It would only take a couple of chapters until I found the whole thing too irritating to continue and would put something else on. About half way through I gave it up as a lost cause and returned the book- thank goodness for Audible’s return policy.
This is a distinct departure of genre for myself and I enjoyed the story. The narration was clear and at a listenable pace. I would have given it five stars however I felt the main character Annabel was very one dimensional in that she really was overly 'saint-like'. I would have found her more believable if she had had some flaws!
It was by accident I stumbled across Margaret Dickinson, when looking for a book about suffragettes.
This is another excellent novel, I also enjoyed the narration and can't wait to listen to another hour on my commute.
I am from Lincolnshire, my neice is called Annabelle and I went to school on Bargate so for me there were so many things I could relate to.
I like to try and mix what j listen to but if I wasn't too disciplined I would continually listen to every book of hers.
I love them!
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