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Summary

Larkswood House. The very name suggests birdsong, peace and elegance. It is home to the Hamilton children - Edward, Cynthia and Harriet - who enjoy the freedom and excitement of privilege. But in the glorious summer of 1896, with absent parents and a departed governess, disaster strikes the family, leaving it cruelly divided.

More than forty years later, on the eve of the Second World War, Louisa Hamilton, newly presented at court but struck down with glandular fever, is sent to Larkswood to recuperate. There, for the first time, she meets her grandfather, Edward, home after decades in India. But as Louisa begins to fall under the spell of Larkswood, she realises it holds the key to the mystery that shattered her family two generations before. Will she find the courage to unravel the dark secrets of the past? And can Larkswood ever become home to happiness again?

Katie Scarfe trained at LAMDA and has appeared on stage at the National Theatre. She is an experienced audiobook narrator.

©2014 Valerie Mendes (P)2014 Orion Publishing Group

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

No Kate Morton...

This novel is achingly dull. Simply a pastiche of much better offerings from much better writers. I always lose interest when the credibility of the protagonists is undermined and this happens time and time again in Larkswood. Do yourself a favour and seek out Kate Morton, Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, Jane Harris... all towering above this drivel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca
  • Melton Mowbray, United Kingdom
  • 08-03-14

Good story pity about the writing and narration

Would you try another book written by Valerie Mendes or narrated by Katie Scarfe?

No it was possibly the worst book I have ever listened to

What character would you cut from Larkswood?

All of them

Any additional comments?

This book had a good story and a good plot but was not well put together or well narrated. The main subject of the novel was one which could have been explored far more intelligently. I was so disappointed that Valerie Mendes had taken such a intricate complex idea for a plot and written it so badly

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Clever and believable

Flows well, perceptive insights. Loved it! Can’t wait for the next book from Valerie Mendez.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I was absorbed into the world of the Hamiltons!

Excellent performance and voices, I couldn't stop listening and there are some wonderful twists and turns. Perfect escapism.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Recommended for 12 to 14 year olds only

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A better story. It's as if the writer hersel did not know how to get on with the story .

Would you ever listen to anything by Valerie Mendes again?

Never