1862 Young widow Eugénie faces an uncertain future in Guernsey when her husband dies at sea. A further tragedy brings her to the attention of Monsieur Victor Hugo, exiled on the island and living in his voluptuous house only yards away from Eugénie. Their meeting changes her life and she begins working for him as a copyist, forming a strong friendship with both Hugo and his mistress, Juliette Drouet.
2012 Doctor Tess Le Prevost, born in Guernsey, now living in Exeter, is shocked to inherit her Great-Aunt’s house on the island. As a child she listened to Aunt Doris’s tales of their ancestor, Eugénie, whose house this once was, and who, according to family myth, was particularly close to Hugo. Was he the father of her child? Tess doubts it, but inheriting the house allows her to make a fresh start in her beloved island.
Will she discover the truth about Eugénie and Hugo? A surprise find may hold the answer as Tess embraces new challenges which test her strength – and her heart.
Published 8th April 2019
~ Review ~
This is the seventh novel in Anne Allen’s Guernsey Novels series and the the second I have read. Last year I enjoyed The Betrayal, but I thought The Inheritance was even better and spent a wonderful cosy afternoon absorbed in it.
The Inheritance is another dual narrative book, this time telling the story of Tess, a busy doctor who inherits a gorgeous house from her great aunt on Guernsey and decides to upsticks and move back to her place of birth. She knew there was an old family connection to the renowned author, Victor Hugo, but when she discovers a hidden cupboard filled with letters and journals, she’s about to find out just how close that connection is. In alternating chapters we, along with Tess, hear the story of Eugenie, rescued from tragedy by Hugo and his kindhearted mistress and her tale of grief, loss, unrequited love and inner strength.
Anne Allen has a beautifully comforting and evocative writing style, meaning that time spent reading her books feel liked being wrapped in a blanket and transported from life for a few hours. I found reading this book so relaxing. I can’t claim to know anything about Victor Hugo, so can’t comment on the authenticity of the author’s depiction of him, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Eugenie’s life as a copywriter, transcribing the famous Les Miserables as he wrote it. I could feel her awe and admiration, and the era was brought vividly to life.
I also enjoyed Tess’s modern day story, which ran some parallels to Eugenie at times. The descriptions of the dilapidated house she inherits and its stunning transformation had me yearning to see it myself.
I really, really enjoyed this book – even more so than the previous. The Guernsey Novels are perfect, relaxing reading, with an effortless writing style and vivid imagery. Pure, enjoyable escapism, which left me content and looking forward to more from this author.
(I read an advance ebook copy courtesy of the author and RaRa Resourses Tour Hosting)
~ About The Author ~
Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children, and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was 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.
By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist, but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, six having been published and the seventh, The Inheritance, is due out in 2018.
Social Media Links – Website: www.anneallen.co.uk