In County Cork, Ireland there lies a fabulous estate of fifty-two rooms on nineteen thousand acres of land. It is the home of the Blackshaw family. Many would assume that wealth and privilege would make life perfect. However, the residents of Tyringham Park prove the old adage that ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’.
The family Blackshaw are a dysfunctional lot. An older husband who is absent most of the time, a young vivacious wife who lives and breathes horses much to the detriment of her young daughters. Then of course there are the servants. The children’s nursemaids, the housekeeper, the groom… they all weave an intricate web of relationships and betrayals that will ensnare the reader.
Set between the years of 1917 and 1943, this historical family saga recounts the life of Charlotte Blackshaw. As a child she was neglected by her mother and abused by her nurse which left her in a fragile emotional state. When she is nine years old her younger sister Victoria goes missing. The impact of this event ensures that Charlotte’s life and the life of everyone at Tyringham Park is irrevocably changed.
The narrative follows Charlotte from the age of nine to age thirty-five. It ponders the issues of nature vs. nurture, childlessness, how responsible adults can influence the psyche of innocent children, and most importantly, how fleeting indiscretions can be life changing.
A debut novel by artist/author Rosemary McLoughlin, “Tyringham Park” will appeal to readers of “Jane Eyre” and Kate Morton’s “The Forgotten Garden”. Fans of “Downton Abbey” and “Upstairs, Downstairs” will surely enjoy it. As I fit all these criteria, I can honestly say it was a memorable favorite.
Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for supplying me with an advance reader’s copy. Thanks to Rosemary McLoughlin for my wonderful fictional escape to County Cork and Australia.
Watch a video where Rosemary McLoughlin talks about her inspiration for “Tyringham Park“, her experiences of writing and prominent themes in the book.
It is a pleasure to hear this former English teacher from Australia speak about her debut novel. I was delighted to hear that she plans a sequel.
First published in Ireland in 2012, by Poolbeg Press, “Tyringham Park” is due to be released in Canada February 2014.
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2/26/14 I just finished TYRINGHAM PARK. Feeling bereft of the realistic characters and both dense and tense plot, I’d be so happy to find out that the sequel has just been published. Still trying to find out about that. But when Charlotte sees Harcourt too early, I am thinking it will be Manus. Manus will rescue her. We, now devoted fans, will have the pleasure of following the characters’ dramatic lives again. I have been trying to think of the qualities which make this novel so good since there isn’t much in it which is original as to persons, secrets, motives etc. How does this author capture me so completely in an encapsulated state of reading happiness reminiscent of how I felt long ago when reading GONE WITH THE WIND or ARUNDEL or MANDERLEY for the first time? It has to be in the careful details and descriptions. NHE
(Sp.? Complete Title ?) or THE SCARLET ?