Today I am hading back to Mandie who has a blog tour review of Liz Taylorson’s The Manor on the Moors. Thanks to publisher Manatee Books for providing an advance copy for review and to Tracy Fenton for inviting us to join the tour. Here is what the book is about:
The Book Bits
Alice has landed her dream job, searching the Misterley Manor archives for tales of the elusive Gilbert Fox-Travers – life should be perfect, if only she could untangle her complicated love life…
Caroline is desperately trying to keep Misterley from falling down around her ears, and it’s a tough enough job without throwing a stroppy teenager, a difficult ex-husband and a cantankerous father into the mix.
When disaster strikes, Caroline and her family must pull together to save her beloved family home…Can Alice uncover the mystery of Gilbert Fox-Travers in time to save the Manor?
Alice has gone to Misterley Manor as part of her PHD studies into Gilbert Fox-Travers, an architect who had helped shape the way the Manor had looked in its heyday. She would dearly love to be the one to discover what happened to him after he mysteriously disappeared and she hopes that by studying his letters that she may uncover the truth. She has waited a long time to be allowed access to the private family papers so she is more than willing to put up with all the list of do’s and don’ts set by Caroline, daughter of the current owner.
There is certainly a good mix or characters in this book, from the grumpy dictatorial Sir Henry Lattimore who resents anyone outside the family being at the Manor to Emily, Sir Henry’s teenage granddaughter. The book does start slowly as the author introduces you to the main players in the story and for me it really started to gather a bit of momentum after a fire nearly destroys the manor and all its contents and slowly the family secrets are revealed.
I really loved Marjorie, Sir Henry’s sister. She was a bit of a livewire for her age and you didn’t always know what she was going to say or do but she loved to comment on Alice’s love life and was constantly encouraging her to act on her feeling for Tom one of the gardeners at the Manor, who was constantly coming to Alice’s aid yet was hiding secrets of his own. Caroline’s character changed as I got further into the book as I started to see why she came across as cold and unbending at the start of the book. She was so determined to live up to the legacy of the Lattimore name and all that it entailed that it had destroyed her marriage to Emily’s father to the point of her father’s view of him became her view of him. Once the Manor came under threat of survival she finally found the courage to stand up to him and put herself and her daughter first. The only character I could not warm to was Sebastian, Alice’s boyfriend. He was completely self-centred to the point he expected Alice to drop everything she was working for and move back to London to become the girlfriend he wanted her to be. I will admit to giving a little cheer in my head when she finally had the courage to stand up for what she wanted and sent him packing (not that he went quietly).
The Manor on the Moors is a charming book that provides the reader with a little bit of mystery and a little bit of romance and even one or two giggles along the way.
About the Author
Liz has always surrounded herself with books.
As a child, she was always to be found with her head in one and she still has a bookcase full of her childhood favourites to this day. (As a thirteen-year-old she read The Lord of the Rings twelve times in a row, cover to cover!) All this reading led, unsurprisingly, to a degree in English Literature, (and another book-case full of books) and then a job as a cataloguer of early printed books for a major university library. This meant spending hours sitting in a beautiful, ancient building looking at antique leather-bound tomes – although as so many of them turned out to be rather boring volumes of sermons she wasn’t tempted to read them! She went on to train others to catalogue books and her earliest attempts at writing anything as an adult consisted of instructions on how to work out the correct form of an author’s name to use in a library catalogue.
Children (and then cats and chickens) interrupted her bibliographic career, and having given up library work Liz found herself doing more reading, and increasingly she found herself enjoying novels by writers like Trisha Ashley, Katie Fforde, Milly Johnson and Lucy Diamond. Inspired by their example, she started writing fiction and hasn’t stopped since, joining the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s wonderful New Writers’ Scheme to try to learn how to write novels properly in 2015. She has also attempted writing some short stories, with one The Second Princess winning a competition in Writing Magazine which led her to think that maybe publication wasn’t a pipe dream after all.
Liz owes everything to her tolerant and long-suffering husband Ben and her tolerant and long-suffering children, but very little to the cats who are neither tolerant nor long-suffering and keep sitting on the computer keyboard and messing up her manuscript if she forgets to feed them on time. When not reading or writing Liz is often to be found on stage (or behind it) with her local amateur dramatic society, drinking tea, or visiting one of the several North Yorkshire seaside villages which were the inspiration for the fictional Rawscar, the setting for her debut novel The Little Church by the Sea.
Follow the Tour: