aliceTitle: Alice

Author: Eva Hanagan

Pages: 182 Pages

Publisher: Endeavour Press

The Blurb

Sometimes you have to return to the past… 

Shortly after the death of her much-loved husband, Alice Willoughby decides to return to Fernhust, her late aunt’s rambling house on the Sussex Downs and scene to a great part of her happy childhood.

Settling down to rebuild her life, Alice finds herself caught between a wistful nostalgia for her youth and a growing sense of guilt for her absence during her Aunt Sophie’s last pitiful years.

A guilt no doubt heightened by the wily charms of her manipulative old headmistress, Miss Vine.

Yet Alice’s weakening confidence is greatly bolstered by her friendship with Paul, an attractive antiques dealer and newcomer to the village.

With Paul’s warmth and gentle manners, Alice can’t help but feel pleased with his curious familiarity with Aunt Sophie’s home.

But her pleasure is undermined by a nagging unease.

Why did her aunt fail to make a provision in her will for her loyal housekeeper Nancy?

Such a cruel, inexplicable omission.

As Alice tackles this puzzle, she discovers that things, objects and people are not always quite what they seem…

With its wittily portrayed cast of characters, Alice is a sharply observed and affectionate portrait of one woman’s triumph of hope over despair.

The Review

Before I started reading Alice by Eva Hanagan I foolishly looked at the star rating on Goodreads. It was stuck on two stars. I am split as to if I think this is fair or not.

I think it is a little unfair. Alice isn’t a bad novel. It is written very much in a style of how the Southern, older, upper-middle class generation is likely to sound (all stereotypes being adhered to). It is a story of old friends, antique forgery and a bit of mystery.

Alice is a novel that tries hard but in a weird sense is hard to appreciate or empathise with. The writing is very stylised and the story is good. It just doesn’t have mass appeal.

Alice by Eva Hanagan is available now.

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