The Inheritance (The Guernsey Novels #7) by @AnneAllen21 ~ Dual Timeline #Contemporary #Historical

Author: Anne Allen

Published: April 2019 by Sarnia Press

Category: Historical, Contemporary, Dual Timeline, Romance, Book Review

1862 Young widow Eugénie is left bereft when her husband dies suddenly and faces an uncertain future in Guernsey.

2012 Doctor Tess Le Prevost, Guernsey born though now living in Exeter, is shocked to inherit her Great-Aunt’s house on the island. 

The Inheritance is a well written and intriguing story that includes accurate historical details as well as a dual timeline.

The narrative moves seamlessly between the past and present. French-born Eugénie Sarchet moved to Guernsey with her husband during the 1860s only to find herself expecting a baby and widowed, her husband lost at sea. 

In the present day, Guernsey born Doctor Tess Le Provost is living and working in Exeter. Tess’ family had left the island twenty years previously and moved to the mainland for her father’s job, but now Tess is back on the island to claim an unexpected inheritance. Her great aunt Doris had left Tess her house. As a child Tess had loved listening to her great aunt’s stories about their ancestor Eugénie, who was Tess’ great-great-great grandmother, and how she was connected to Victor Hugo. 

’Yes, I believe she did work in his house, but there’s more to the story. Even more exciting,’ her aunt said, eyes sparkling. ‘Legend has it Eugénie had an affair with Victor and her son, born less than nine months after she remarried, was actually Victor’s child.’

Eugénie’s story is experienced through her journals—the grief for the loss of her husband and the fortuitous meeting with Victor Hugo and his mistress, M’dame Drouet, that probably saved her life. A strong friendship was born out of tragedy. M’dame Drouet becomes almost a mother figure to the young Eugénie and Victor Hugo nothing but kind and solicitous of her welfare. The offer of employment from M’sieur Hugo serving not only as a chance to work for the great man himself, but also rescuing her from an uncertain future. 

My head reeled. To work for Victor Hugo! Reading and copying his masterpieces as they poured from his mind onto the page. Infinitely better than taking in lodgers. 

The Inheritance is the stand out favourite of the Guernsey novels that I’ve read so far, taking over from Echoes of Time. Each book is a standalone and even though characters from previous stories make return appearances there’s no confusion or feelings of missing out.  The setting is described evocatively, as always—the characters finely drawn, realistic and likeable from the start. It was a fascination and delight to read about Victor Hugo, who features prominently in Eugénie’s story. Anne Allen really brings him, and all the characters, to life.

Although Tess’ and Eugénie’s stories are separated by more than a century, there are parallels that tie the two together, not least the feeling of kinship as Tess discovers the highs and desperate lows of her ancestor’s life. I enjoyed The Inheritance very much, the historical thread particularly. Fiction and fact is combined so smoothly the story is completely believable. It’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

I chose to read and review The Inheritance based an a digital copy kindly supplied by the author.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

Image of Guernsey by bobbeeez from Pixabay

About the Author

Anne was born in Rugby to a Welsh father and an English mother. As a result, she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learned to love the sea. Now she is based in Devon to be near her daughter and two small grandchildren. Her restless spirit has meant many moves, the longest stay being 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. Her younger son is based in London – ideal for city breaks.

By profession Anne was a psychotherapist but has long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of her mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now retired from the ‘day job’, there’s more time to write and Anne has now published seven books in The Guernsey Novels series as at April 2019.

To find out more about Anne visit her website – www.anneallen.co.uk
You can also find her on twitter – @AnneAllen21
And Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anne-Allen-Author/

6 thoughts on “The Inheritance (The Guernsey Novels #7) by @AnneAllen21 ~ Dual Timeline #Contemporary #Historical

    • Yes, a really good job. All the books are set in Guernsey and some of the previous characters do appear but they blend in seamlessly, so I’d say without doubt you could read this as a stand-alone.

      Liked by 2 people

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