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  • Location: Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire

The Peacock Summer

The Peacock Summer

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: A home called Cloudesley, tucked high in the hills, has a secret to hide, watch out when it spills…

  • ISBN: 978-1409152217
  • Genre: Historical, Mystery

What you need to know before your trail

At twenty-six, Lillian feels trapped by life. Her marriage to Charles Oberon has not turned out the way she expected it would. To her it seems she is just another object captured within the walls of Cloudesley, her husband’s beautiful manor house tucked away high in the Chiltern Hills. But, with a young step-son and a sister to care for, Lillian accepts there is no way out for her. Then Charles makes an arrangement with an enigmatic artist visiting their home and his presence will unbalance everything she thought she knew and understood.

Maggie Oberon ran from the hurt and resentment she caused. Half a world away, in Australia, it was easier to forget, to pretend she didn’t care. But when her elderly grandmother, Lillian, falls ill she must head back to Cloudesley. Forced to face her past, Maggie fights to hold herself and her family’s legacy together as she learns that all she thought was real, all that she held so close, was never as it seemed.

Travel Guide

Chiltern Hills

Chiltern Hills (c) Google

Chiltern Hills (c) Google

Sadly the grand house in the novel is not real but of it it were! There is however one national trust property in the area – Hughenden Manor which was the former home of British PM Benjamin Disraeli and it looks a bit like Peacock Hall….

The taxi has navigated the country lanes of the Chiltern Hills, winding up through villages of brick-and-flint cottages,  past hedegrows rustling with life and rippling fields of young wheat….’

“At the sight for the village of Cloud Green, she’s sunk a little lower in her seat, averting her gaze as she’d passe d the Old Swan pub on the village green, keen to keep news of her return under wraps for a s long as possible. Less than a mile on, past the old Saxon church  with its tilted gravestones, littering the churchyard like rotting teeth, and they’d turned through the familiar metal gates.”

Buckinghamshire

The grand old house is located in Buckinghamshire:

She had never though to ask how the house had got it name, presuming , as a child, that it had somethnig to do with its postion, perched atop a gill like the crowning decoration on a huge cake or grazing the sky like a large cloud,”

….with its twisting corridors and draughty rooms”

“her points of reference had been the characters she sought from the dusty books in the library, and when compared to some of her companions, Mary Lennox, David Copperfield, Jane Eyre, it hadn’t seemed so strange.”

Trail Gallery

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

I loved this book from the start. The cover is gorgeous too I should add and perfectly frames the story inside.
Where do I start with this review? Recommended reading if you enjoy family mysteries set over decades and all revealing themselves in large gothic houses with secret rooms….

And the peacocks! From the real ones wandering the grounds to the ice sculptured ones melting at the end of the warm summer’s evening party, the descriptive writing both of them, their cries, and the rustling in the woods as they came upon characters talking in secret…. beatiful

The house is called Cloudelsey and it sits atop the Chiltern Hills….glorious!

This is the book to sit by the fire with or out beside a fountain if you can. Stretch out your toes and immerse yourself in luscious evocative writing. The house comes to life from the page via its creaking stairs, the wooden bannisters, the maze of rooms and corridors, the noises of the peacocks and the vast expanse of the gardens. That’s even before you get to the large secret room locked up for years and reopened for…well you’ll have to read it and see.

The characters are what made this book for me. Lillian in particular with her secrets and way she recounts her life. A woman I would love to meet in real life! She’d be fascinating.

And then there’s the visitor who comes to the house and changes Lillian’s life and the lives of those around them for ever. Then years, later Lillian’s granddaughter start to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The two stories come together very nicely indeed

Recommended!

Booktrail Boarding Pass: The Peacock Summer

Destination : Buckinghamshire, Chiltern Hills “Cloud Green”  Author/Guide: Hannah Richell  Departure Time: 2000s looking back

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