I’m back with part 3 in my Burracombe series book reviews. If you haven’t read them already, check out part 1 and part 2 first. The next two books in the series by Lilian Harry are An Heir For Burracombe & Secrets In Burracombe. Lets jump straight into the reviews.
An Heir For Burracombe
It’s a summer’s day in 1953 that turns Hilary Napier’s life upside-down. When Marianne, a beautiful French woman, knocks on her door, Hilary is taken aback by Robert, the young boy with her. He has the same eyes as the brother she lost in the war…
As the village of Burracombe tries to make sense of the strangers in their midst, there is also much to celebrate. A wedding is being planned, a birth is imminent and a courtship just beginning. Yet as always, life is complicated and some people must learn cruel truths about the world.
But Burracombe is the kind of place where people pull together. Through good times and bad, the community offers support and understanding although village gossip is alive and well, too.
Hilary has her friends to turn to as she tries to find out the facts about her brother’s past. But it’s the future she worries about – if her brother did leave an heir, will there be room for her in the family home she’s worked so hard to protect? And is this young boy ready for all that may be ahead?
Lilian Harry invites you on a journey through the lives of characters old and new in a touching tale full of warmth and intrigue.
When I first saw the title, I thought it could suggest that someone would be pregnant from the big house. This however, isn’t the case and the late Bardon Napier is finally brought more into the story.
Right from the start, I had a feeling that all isn’t what it seems. The was an definite feeling that the truth was being covered up. As a result, it made me very suspicious of the new characters. I have to admit I found myself not enjoying this book as much.
Understandably, this book focuses a lot more on the large family estate and less so on the village. Despite this, there is still snippets of village life. This included the planning of the two upcoming weddings and the imminent arrival of a new baby. The pregnant mother develops what we today know as pre-eclampsia, which adds a new dimension to the story. Knowing just how dangerous it can be, you feel compelled to read on. It reminded me of that heart-breaking Downton Abbey scene.
Overall, I definitely found this story more difficult to read than all the others so far. I just couldn’t gel with the characters and left the book for weeks on end without reading it. It might be more to do with it being set on the posh estate, which isn’t something I’d normally read. If I pick anything like that, its usually because I’m more interested in the servants and working class families. By the end of the book, I did find myself enjoying it though and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next. Each book is left on a slight cliff hanger, setting it up for the next one. I am learning to expect the unexpected though so who knows what could happen next.
Secrets In Burracombe
A seemingly sleepy Devonshire village, Burracombe, is in fact full of family secrets, budding romance, cruel twists of fate and friendships.
It is autumn 1953 and the villagers are making excited preparations for the wedding of their much-loved schoolteacher Stella Simmons. Everyone is delighted when Joe Tozer – who left Burracombe as a young man in 1919 – returns to visit his family. His life since emigrating to America has been a world away from rural Devon, but coming home, he soon falls in love with the place (and one particular person) all over again.
When I first read the blurb, I was intrigued to see what this returning character was like. I feel like I’ve gotten to know all of the villagers and I hoped this new one wouldn’t spoil things.
I definitely found more enjoyment in this book than the previous one. In fact I finished it within two days, but I think that was because I was so gripped on unfolding events. I like that it really focuses on the lives of individuals rather than village life. There is such a huge twist at the end, which really got my adrenaline pumping. It was so unexpected, it hit me like a ton of bricks and now I’ve got this feeling of needing to read on, to see the outcome.
One thing I’m really noticing throughout this series is just how quickly everything can change in the blink of an eye. This book is definitely left on a massive cliff-hanger between life and death. I’m now starting to see how Lillian Harry has been able to create so many books from this village because there is so much that can happen. I’ve already started reading the next book because I just needed to know what happened next. Without giving any spoilers away. I can safely say its going to be an emotional rollercoaster ride.