Secrets can tear a family apart. Dark secrets can especially ruin the happiness of future generations. Edward, Cynthia, and Harriet Hamilton learned that when numerous dark secrets about their family tore them apart and kept them apart for numerous years. It even impacted the future as Louisa Hamilton, the granddaughter of Edward discovers secrets about her family’s past that will rock her to the core. “Larkswood” by Valerie Mendes is a novel that goes from the Edwardian period to World War II and shows how a family’s multitude of secrets will haunt them forever.
“Larkswood” follows Edward, Cynthia, and Harriet Hamiliton in 1897 and Louisa Hamiliton in 1939. Edward, Cynthia, and Harriet are fabulously wealthy and living at the opulent Larkswood House. Edward is handsome, loyal, and a protector of his younger sisters. Cynthia is beautiful, musically talented, and the princess of Larkswood House. Harriet is quiet, but kind and steadfast in the love of her siblings. Neglected by their parents, something enormous rocks their family and Edward, Cynthia, and Harriet pay a heartbreaking price. Meanwhile, in 1939, Louisa lives in London with her parents and sister. She dreads being presented during The Season and wants more from her life. When she is struck with sickness, she goes to recuperate at her Grandfather Edward’s home, the infamous Larkswood House. Louisa becomes very fond of her grandfather, but she soon discovers secrets about the house, his past, and those beloved sisters of his that will stun her. “Larkswood” is a look at how a family divided by secrets can be impacted.
“Larkswood” is a novel that is itching to be made into a movie. Mendes has created such an interesting story, memorable characters, and weaved two different time periods seamlessly into the book. “Larkswood” is the kind of novel that leaves readers on the edge of their seats waiting to see what will happen next, but also have them curiously and deeply studying each character because the novel is so character driven. The characters and plot are brilliantly done.
Edward, Cynthia, Harriet, and Louisa all stand out so beautifully in this novel. “They are such different characters and lived in different time periods, but you can sense they are family. Edward is protective and loving, but also haunted by the past. Cynthia is beautifully broken because of her past. Harriet goes from a hopeful young woman to a bitter older woman because of her past. Louisa is independent, full of strength, and the character that brings the sibling back together. They are such an interesting and dynamic group of characters.
“Larkswood” is an excellent tribute to those sweeping period pieces and could easily be a movie or Masterpiece Classic series. Mendes is the mother of British movie director Sam Mendes so here’s to putting this wonderful novel on the screen. “Larkswood” deserves it!
To purchase “Larkswood”: http://www.amazon.com/Larkswood-Valerie-Mendes/dp/1409129381
For more information on Valerie Mendes: http://www.valeriemendes.com/