What should have been a grand adventure in Africa ends in heartbreak for Enid Hawthorne, following her husband's untimely death. Bereft, the young widow bravely boards a ship for home with precious cargo—her unborn child. She hopes to find refuge in England in the only place she can—Thornewell Hall, the estate of her late husband's family. But upon her arrival, she finds a bleak home in the depths of mourning. It is clear that hers is not the only tragedy, but Enid is unprepared for the hostility that meets her arrival.
Sebastian, Earl of Thornewell, is grief-stricken following the loss of his wife and child. The news that his brother is dead is simply more than he can take—and he knows who is to blame: his sister-in-law, Enid. So when she arrives on his doorstep, seeking asylum, he does his duty in allowing her to stay—and nothing more. Yet fate has other plans, and as they face joys and trials alongside each other, their broken hearts begin to heal. But there is a cloud over their future, fo rEnid harbors a secret that may drive them apart forever.
|Audiobook Narrator||Luone Ingram|
|Audiobook Runtime||Approximately 11 hours|
I was excited to get to start reading The Heart of Thornewell by Anita Stansfield! I’ve read and enjoyed many of her books. And I enjoyed this one too.
I like the way that the author makes her heroines a bit different than the normal ones in this kind of a book. Enid in this one is a character with tons of depth. She’s living in Africa as a missionary when her husband contracts a mysterious disease and dies. He makes her promise to go back to England to his brother’s home. I like that Enid is not one to sit around when she doesn’t know the best way to do something. She gets herself and her baby, she’s pregnant at the time, back to England with no problems. But as the story goes along, you see more and more layers to Enid. And that brings about the plot twists and turns that keep the reader interested in the book.
I like that we get to see Sebastian’s point of view as well in this one. I can’t say that I liked the way he thought. Or that I liked the way he treated Enid at some points in the story. But I thought he turned out to be an excellent hero by the end of the book.
The Heart of Thornewell takes the reader on a wild ride from the plains of Africa to rainy England. I liked the plot of this one. It kept me interested until I turned the last page!
Anita Stansfield has a gift for writing stories full of emotion. The characters in this book certainly experience a wide range of emotions. Enid Hawthorne is a young, pregnant missionary's wife who has just lost her husband to disease. But she has no time to grieve as she must make her way back to England from Africa. She's not sure her husband's brother, the Earl of Thornewell will welcome her, he didn't like her before, but she has no where else to go as her own family disowned her years before. But she isn't prepared for what she finds. Thornewell is full of grief as well as the mistress died after childbirth just a few months earlier.
But grief is just the beginning of the roller coaster of emotions that both Enid and Sebastian, the Earl of Thornewell experience as they both struggle to cope with the loss of their spouses. There is blame and anger and confusion. Neither intended to fall in love with the other but they can't help themselves, but Sebastian's stubborn determination to blame Enid for his brother's death (without hearing about what happened) puts a wall between them that may not be climbable.
I enjoyed reading this, but frankly there were a number of occasions when I seriously wanted to let Sebastian have it because he was being so unfair and unkind to Enid. I cheered Enid on when she stood up for herself and refused to let Sebastian get away with his behavior. Stansfield has written another tender love story that takes both the characters and the reader on a journey through the challenges of life.
Author Anita Stansfield's new Historical Fiction novel is a surprisingly different novel than her usual style. It is a touching tale of a woman who, reservedly followed her husband to Africa as a missionary, only to be left alone a few months later through her husband's sudden death by a disease. She had only one option, get herself back to a port in Africa and return to England. There she would have to throw herself on the mercies of her departed husband's dastardly elder brother. Although he strongly disliked her, his wife was a friend to her.
Enid Hawthorne was pregnant ( a state of which possibly saved her and her unborn child's life), disowned by her own family, now, she was penniless, and unwanted by the brother, Alistair Hawthorne.
Alistair was dealing with his own tragedy and now the loss of his only sibling, only Family.
This is a heartrending story of a torn fragment of family striving to survive tragedy and of self-discovery. It is a story of misjudgment of others and in moving forward when all odds seem against you.
This is not only a relaxing, inspiring "Summer Read" but also a great novel for anyone who is struggling with - or has struggled with- devastating hardships and loss.
The characters feel so alive and real! The background scenes are portrayed in a way, easily visualized by the reader.
The Book Cover image and Title are attractive, eye-catching and very "fitting"The only negative though I had with this novel is that the drama was slightly drawn out and felt remotely repetitive.
I rate this with a Four and a Half Stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with no suggestion of a positive review.This is my honest review.
This was one of my more favorites of Anita Stansfield’s. The story started out with a riveting death and escape from disease-torn Africa for Lady Hawthorne. As she struggles to return to England, pregnant and all alone, she hopes her late husband’s family at Thornewell will take her in. She has nowhere else to go. But when she arrives at Thornewell Hall, she finds that they have suffered their own tragedies there, and the master of the house, her brother-in-law that never could seem to stand her, has locked himself up in his room and taken no visitors ever since his wife and child were laid to rest.
I won’t spoil the plot. It’s super good and kept me turning pages and not stopping for breaks because I HAD to figure out Enid’s mystery and Sebastian’s underlying reason for his intense anger and judgement against his sister-in-law. This book’s greatest strengths are the deep characterization and awesome twists (totally surprised me). That made it a very fulfilling read. Super great historical romance. I highly recommend it. ***I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.