I have a difficult time with first person points of view, and this novel is all first person. The story was also a little predictible for me.
This book is a wonderfully atmospheric Gothic novel; most of the book takes place on the British estate of Walthamstow at the beginning of the 1800 century. Ariel Margaret Rushdon wants to punish her former lover, Nicholas Wyndham.
Through no actions of her own, Ariel was committed to an asylum for two years. During that time, her newborn was taken from her by the Wyndham family. Ariel wants her baby back and she wants Nicholas to be punished for his shabby treatment.
Hired on as a model for Nicholas' artistic efforts, Ariel quickly realizes that Nicholas is a physical and emotional wreck. His memory is scattered and he paints at the oddest times. Through her anger of Nicholas marrying the woman he promised her he would reject, Ariel finds herself falling under his spell again.
The plot revolves on a convenient set of coincidences but the mystery is engaging.
It was whispered that Lord Nicholas Wyndham murdered his wife, that he was hopelessly insane,that he fell into uncontrollable rages.In seclusion in his great estate,Nick had shut himself from the world,painting and trying to remember his past. An accident had robbed him of his memories ,and among those lost was the face of th woman he had loved...
I love her books, she makes conflicts interresting, but I didn't like the first person viewpoint for this storyline.
This book started out beautifully written. I haven't read this author in a few years although I've enjoyed almost every one of Sutcliffe's books, and I have read many. This is one of her earliest.
The plot has a dark, gothic feel to it. The way the plot unravels gradually in the 1st half of the book had me hooked. IMO the writing was some of the best I've read, particularly in that first love scene. (Sigh) It is written so beautifully and tenderly, I know I'll want to re-read it again just for this scene.
It takes place in Malham on the Moor, Yorkshire, England in the year 1800. I could feel the freezing wind that blew off the Moor around the heroines cloak as "the dawn crept in on misty feet". The writing put me right there in that dreary place she stood.
After the first half, the plot moved into the twisted tangled drama of a family filled with madness, secrets, murder, mahem, hauntings, a ghost, and then some.
It was whispered that Lord Wyndham murdered his wife and that he was hoplessly insane and fell into uncontrollable rages. An accident had robbed him of his memories and among those lost was the face of the woman he loved. For two years Areil had been locked up in a sanatorium, committed by her cruel guardisn and abandoned by her lover, Wyndham. Finally securing her release, she plotted her revenge against the lord wh had taken her innocence and condemned her to a living nightmare. And she must find their child.
Love lost and regained. This is a great historical romance. I always enjoy Sutcliffe's novels.