Monday, March 28, 2011

Trencarrow Secret by Anita Davison

Trencarrow Secret is a Victorian novel about family relationships, growing up, and marriage. Isabel is a young woman vacationing with her family for the summer. She discovers her father in a questionable situation with her ailing mother's nurse. This brings up numerous questions for Isabel. She discovers her parents had a marriage on convenience. Is she willing to marry Jared (which is expected of her) for the same reason or does she wish to find love? Should she find love, will she have the courage to pursue it? And can she forgive her father for betraying her mother?

The story rarely leaves the summer household, but rather than feeling confined, I was intrigued by the family and their scandals, personalities, and witty remarks at the dinner table. Jared is a pompous arse and has something up his sleeve. Laura is infatuated with a young man and means to have him by any means necessary. Aunt Margot is just Aunt Margot and she made me laugh. Amelia is battling her love for a married man. Ashton is feeling guilty about Amelia. Evaline is frothing at the mouth for Henry who really desires Isabel. And Isabel.. is too blind to see it. There is much miscommunication and minunderstandings fly left and right.

Very slowly, however, Isabel grows up. She begins to come to the conclusion, "marriage isn't about weddings and announcements in the papers." The question is: what is she going to do about it? Jared thinks they are to wed and she thinks Henry wants Evaline. Can all the misunderstandings be corrected before she makes a dour mistake?

Favorite quote: When Henry is speaking to Isabel about her fears (she is terrified of both water and a maze) he says, "You aren't the only one who has demons to fight. The mistake we often make is to believe we have to battle them alone."
Great book and I was thoroughly entertained. When I first read it, it had not been through final edits and I complained that the heroine was not feisty enough. However, I later received some additional scenes that had me thinking, "I see a timid girl, but I also see the woman she will grow to be." The changes made, the glimpse into the woman Isabel will become, and the surprise ending make me give this a five.


  1. I want it!!
    I love historical scandal so The Trencarrow Secret by Anita Davison sounds like my kind of book. Can't wait till June. I love that cover.

  2. I also got a sneak peek at this book as I was part of Anita's critique group. For me, the heroine was real and believable given her fears about the maze, keeping a dreadful secret from her dying mother, and dealing with the household and the cast of characters who lived and visited there. I'm not sure how much stronger one could be.

    I've read other work by Anita, and I can truly attest that she converted me from someone who thought Victorians were boring to someone who waits impatiently for her next release. She makes the players come to life, let's me breath the damp London air, and involves me totally in her amazing storylines. I guess you can tell, I'm a diehard Anita Davison fan.

  3. Wendy, it is, indeed, a gorgeous cover. I think Anita chose well.

    Ginger, I really enjoyed the book. When I say "stronger" heroine, I mean not quite so timid. Though in all fairness, she was better in the end. If you pay attention to my normal reading material, I prefer.. "ball busters." That's just me and how I am. I really did enjoy the book though. I was pleasantly surprised.

    I will def read more of Anita's work in the future. I feel she is an author to watch.

    As for her previous titles, any particular one you recommend?

  4. Duking Days Rebellion and Duking Days Revolution were wonderful. They transport the reader back into the unsettled times in England around 1685. As Ginger said, Anita has the power to immerse a reader into the atmosphere of her stories. She has a magic pen.
    Roll on June 11 and the release of Trencarrow Secret.