Drama, Historical fiction

Monarch Manor by Maureen Leurck

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Sometimes when you stumble upon a book which from the first chapter draws you in, speaks to you. It is not just the content itself but the manner in which it is conveyed to you. It is about the narrative style, and the characters being introduced to you. When you turn the last page, with tears in your eyes there is satisfaction in having read a good book that will stay with you a little longer than other recent reads. If it is not very clear, these emotions are those that I felt as I put this book away (or swiped at the kindle screen but the principle is the same)

I started this book at night not sure what I was expecting but as I turned in for the night (later than planned) I had only read a quarter of the book but vowed to get to it first thing in the morning. I did keep that promise to myself and was rewarded amply for the effort. It is not a big book and does not take long to read, it reads faster than the pages would have you believe.

Erin is helping her mother clean out her grandmother’s place before they stage it for sale, this is when she stumbles on old photographs and strange parallels to her own current situation. This is just a slice of her life, the harder and bigger part of Erin’s life is how she deals with the autism diagnosis for her son and is struggling with ideas on how to make his life happier. The story is bookended with and ultimately about mothers. The mother in the past is Amelia, who has a deaf son. and the time and her inlaws are not very forgiving of any form of disability, especially something this obvious. The social scene of ‘moneyed’ people is woven into the history part of the tale. The past is revealed in stages to us, every time it seems as if the story is done, another twist is revealed. Erin is struggling with the day-to-day. There is a very real relationship with her husband, something that was refreshing to see. Her mother is not the kind of person that Erin is completely comfortable with but their relationship was refreshing as well. The past was painful to read about since Amelia is bound by other restrictions than Erin but she has a family to lean on, and however hard it might be, they do lend a hand.

The two women were so vivid and driven while at the same time wracked with self-doubt at the oddest of times but the way they work through the issues at hand and how the past seems to give new hope to the present was a treat to read.

I went into this book blind, with no prior impressions of the author, but this is one author I will definitely keep my eye out for in the future.

I received an Advance Reviewer’s copy thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but this review is completely based on my own reading experience.

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