The Old Priory Author:Norah Lofts Few men have had to consider such an arrangement; fewer still could have ignored such a reward. Thus--dangerously, secretly--a handsome young sailor with chestnut colored hair responds to the urgent appeals of an unlikely siren beckoning him to a room somewhere in Suffolk, in the England of 1590. There in exchange for an enormous sum of gold, he... more » obliges a beautiful, recently widowed lady in the begetting of an heir whose birth will ensure the retention of her title and high station in life.
Arthur Tresize discovers--almost too late--the menace that has been his constant, invisible companion during the entire escapade. Now, a sadder, no less adventurous man, he takes his gold and embarks upon a new life, establishing himself and two generations of his descendants at the Old Priory, long abandoned and supposedly cursed.
What happens there to Arthur Tresize and his heirs might indicate that, far from being the stuff of local legend, a curse, indeed, works its evil on those who call the Old Priory home. Although rich and respected, the Tresize family is plagued by premature death, tragic mishap, star-crossed loves, and bitter sibling hatreds.
Drawing on her knowledge of history and mastery of the novelist's art, Norah Lofts once again works her magic in a tale of England under the first Elizabeth and the first James.« less
Well written, but the structure doesn't provide a satisfactory conclusion to the initial set-up.
This book is written from various perspectives of characters over three generations. The beginning is intriguing and makes the reader anticipate that the lives of the narrators will somehow be drawn together in a dramatic, or at least interesting, way near the end of the book. Unfortunately, although nothing is left hanging, nothing is really resolved. Lofts's treatment of the storyline is not satisfactory in that the reader feels there is no conclusion to the lives of the families who have been drawn together. Luckily, most of the characters are memorably drawn and fleshed out. However, the one you most wish to learn more about is the one who simply passes through one or two of the last chapters without much development.