House of Trelawney

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Feb 2020

Member Reviews

I loved the descriptions in this book and the various sections. I found the number of characters too many which meant it was difficult to engage with them fully. 

Thanks for the chance to review this book.
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I loved The Improbability of Love so much, that when I saw there are another book by the same author, I jumped at the chance to review it.

Trelawney castle is old, beautiful and crumbling away. The family all love living there, but there is a tradition that once the current earl comes of age, his siblings are banished from the castle with a symbolic gift. These siblings have to make their own way in the world. The current Earl fancies himself an investment banker and keeps putting first his money and then his wife's money into bad investments. His sister, Blaze, on the other hand, is a brilliant investment banker and foretells the coming of the sub prime mortgage crash.

What makes the book are the characters, they are all quite extreme in their own ways and you are so invested in them that you follow the twists and turns of the story just to see that they come out okay. There's quite a lot of head hopping going on - normally, I hate this, but in this case, I was never confused as to which person's head I was in. Besides, I was so invested in these people that I'd probably have put up with it even if it was done badly (which it wasn't - this psychic distance done well). The house itself is character in the book.
I genuinely enjoyed this book and raced through it. Wonderfully wry and compelling.
I got a review copy of this book via Netgalley.
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Dilapidated country pile, eccentric ancient aristocratic family, looming secrets from the past. Yay, right up my street, I thought! Trelawney House, last vestige of an 800-year old dynasty in Cornwall, is crumbling to dust. The Earl and his Countess are desperately keeping up the pretence of glories past by denial of the present, whilst Viscount Tremayne aka Kitto, the heir incumbent, tries one hare-brained money scheme after another to avoid the unavoidable.
I really liked the outline of this plot, but when it started to drone on and on about Kitto’s sister Blaze, the (once) financial whizz-kid, the high-flyer in the big, bad-ass financial world of ....*switching off reading brain*... I kind of lost interest. As good as the story could be, sadly it often descends into opinionated, preachy rants. Many of the characters are stiff and clichéd - aristocrats are always haughty, eccentric or living in penury; successful bankers are always nasty and vulgar, etc.. Good in places, but could have done with major editing - far too long.
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A charming little book. It follows the exploits of an aristocratic family now down on their luck during the 2008 financial crisis. This book gripped me quickly and wouldn't let go. The characters felt real and I found myself routing for them even when they weren't doing what was best. This was a disfunction family story with comedy and trajedy interwoven to make a compelling tale.
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This was not what I expected! (Should have read the blurb a bit more carefully!) But it was really good.

Set in the financial crash of 2007 this is the story of an old old moneyed family and what happens when it all goes wrong.
Characters are lovely, sometimes a bit two dimensional which meant that one of the storylines involving mental health was not explored as it could have been - but there were other stories that were done well.
A real commentary on the crisis of 2007 and winners and losers. Not many people come out of it well!

7/10
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An intriguing novel that keeps you guessing and turning the pages to see what happens next. Original plot with engaging characters. A good read for fans of the aristocracy or Downton Abbey.
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When I first saw this book I knew I had to read it,.  A madcap tale of a family of minor royals their traditions and management of the family estate.

Trelawney estate is 800 years old,  In its prime the family had plenty of money, a sprawling farm and the house was in tip top condition.  Over the years parts of the farm have been sold, so now now there isn't much left.  The house itself has fallen into disrepair.  

The story focuses on the current occupants of the house and some of the extended family.  Some of the topics covered include: family obligation, love, renovations, money, infidelity and insects.  Yes you heard that right.... INSECTS. 

I LOVED the characters.  I got quite invested in what I thought was going to happen.  When the book finished with an ending that was different to what I expected wasn't quite sure what to think.  But you know what?  in a way I think that was a good thing because I was so invested in the characters.  There aren't many authors who have that way with character development.  

All in all a great read.
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This was such an entertaining, light hearted book. I really enjoyed it. I love Downton Abbey and love to read about the aristocracy, so this was perfect. 
I loved the characters, the writing and the stories of them.
The setting of the castle was really well done and it took me back to I Capture The Castle :)
Overall, it was such an enjoyable experience. 
Thanks a lot to NetGalley and the publisher for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was not exactly what I wished it would have been. I wasn't intrigued, nor was I engaged in the plot of the book. I was looking forward to reading this book, hoping it would have similar vibes to Downton Abbey. However, it lacked any emotional depth to make me want to like the story or the characters. I initially DNF'd it but  I have to force myself to finish it.
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This book is a lovely, lighthearted romp through the differing fates and fortunes of an aristocratic family fallen on hard times. There is such a range of characters who are lightly drawn but who involve you enough with their stories to make you care for them and their lives.

The whole complicated plot lines highlight many strong women who are essentially carrying their over-privileged, under-achieving male family members, and while the focus is very much on inheritance and ancient ways of life, these are all pretty much undermined by the women's various abilities to respond to change in a way the male characters cannot.

The castle itself is a wonderful setting and magnet for the multiple plot lines, and the ties of family and friendship are tested to the limit through the course of the book. The friendship between Jane and Blaze is drawn with great tenderness, and while the other characters orbit around them this was my favourite part of the story.

Overall I really enjoyed the book, with echoes of I capture the castle updated for the modern world. Thanks to Bloomsbury and Netgalley for the chance to read an advance copy.
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Not quite sure who this book is aimed at.  It would appear from the book cover and  description it looks to scrape into the literary fiction category.

The writing and plot line take it somewhere else.  There are times when the writing takes off but the risible story line and choppy moving from character to character, all of whom are wafer thin in terms of characterisation quickly bring you down to earth.  I know it is meant to be a comedy, but, this book is not funny.

I would beg to differ with the description of 'a dazzling comedy of manners about old money, new money and no money'.'  Pedestrian, plodding, ordinary stereotypes would be closer to the mark.

It's a shame, the writer obviously loves and knows about old houses and she can write. She has not been well served by her editor, either that or she knows the proprietor of the publisher, it could have been cut by a third.
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I was very pleasantly surprised by this book, I do love a dysfunctional and eccentric family!
The characters were all caricatures - they made me laugh, the dialogues were smartly constructed with a hint of sarcasm. There were a couple of stereotypes but that didn’t bother me at all.
It is a slow burner, I wasn’t sure at the start but I started to grow closer and closer to the characters and wanted to know more. It’s a lighthearted and fun read, a real little treat.

Thank you NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for forwarding me a copy in exchange of an honest review.
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So I know we're not meant to judge ARCs on their formatting BUT this copy was woeful - I'm not talking about a few spelling/grammar mistakes or weird chapter titles, this is random numbers and symbols inserted in the middle of sentences, line breaks in the middle of the page chopping words in half, paragraph breaks that shouldn't be there... Reading it literally gave me a headache, I stop forgiving your formatting errors when they interfere with the comprehension and cause me physical pain.

The actual book is about a once-grand English aristocratic family who has lost all their money and are about to lose even more to the stock market crash of 2008. A couple of the characters are investment bankers, which is a direct line to snoozetown for me. I think the book is meant to be funny but I just wasn't laughing. Everyone is a caricature, and an unlikable caricature at that.

The main romance is a mess of communication failures and assuming the worst. The big family secret changes nothing by the time it's revealed (and the one character who would benefit from knowing about it isn't told.)

Conclusion: 1.5 stars and if it hadn't been a NetGalley gift I wouldn't have finished it.
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Set in 2008 in Cornwall. This grabbed my interest because it was about an old crumbling castle that had been owned by the same family for 800 years. The Earl’s of Trelawney had been very wealthy and owned extensive properties. The Castle Trelawney was enormous with many rooms. Over the years the Earl’s had to sell off land and assets to pay their debts and eventually the Castle fell into disrepair and the present Earl had no money to repair the crumbling castle.
This is about Jane and Kitto Tremayne and their family who are living in the castle that is falling down around them. They might have titles such as Earl, Viscount or Viscountess but they have no heating in their rooms, no staff to cook and clean.
Everything is a drudge for Jane, Viscountess Tremayne and very different to the days when she was young and friends with Anastasia and her sister in-law Blaze.
Jane Tremayne looks after the vegetable gardens, does all the cooking and cares for her in-laws, her husband and three children. The family are tired of eating cottage pie. 
Everything changes when a letter arrives from an old friend of Jane’s. Anastasia is dying and asks Jane to provide a home for her daughter, Ayesha. 
Blaze lives a comfortable life in London and makes a living from financial markets. Blaze also receives a letter from Anastasia and is financially able to provide a home for Ayesha.
Not everything is as it should be, someone is scheming against the Tremayne’s and Blaze.  Ayesha is also scheming to get what her mother wanted.
This is about families, relationships, stock markets and revenge.
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Thank you to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for an early copy of this book. 

This is my first read of Rothschild and it will not be my last. I really enjoyed this book, the atmosphere was built well and the characters were introduced in an orderly and realistic fashion. I found a couple of the characters (namely Blaze) to be a little unrealistic but I think the rest of them were well written and rounded characters. 

It should be noted that the ending felt very abrupt, after the slow pace of the book it was quite a jarring end and was a little disappointing. It solidified my belief that the book didn’t really have a true direction / purpose but it did not impact too much on my enjoyment of the piece.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a slower paced book with a focus on a family – definitely worth a read.

4/5
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I was desperately wading through a treacle of another book when Bloomsbury and Netgalley approved my request to read The House of Trelawney, thank you! This is exactly what I needed to pick me up a bit. It is an engaging, immersive read that will, no doubt, have many fans. 

The dilapidated Trelawney Castle and its eccentric inhabitants are very well observed. The ancient aristocratic family have practically nothing left, everything of value has been sold off and everything else is falling apart yet, dim earl-in-waiting Kitto has kept his beloved Purdeys and produces a bottle of Meursault for an impromptu picnic while his long suffering wife Jane makes do with grey mince for supper day after day and worries over mountains of unpaid bills. The story takes place in the lead up to the 2008 crash and its aftermath as the family tries to save the castle. There is a large supporting cast and I particularly liked uncle Tony, the second son and brother of the old earl, forced to make a living as an art dealer and flatterer to new money. Also a star turn from HRH Princess Amelia (distant cousin to Lilibeth, banished, decades ago to the wilds of Kent) in an ominous little episode foreshadowing today’s divided nation.  

Although The House of Trelawney was an entertaining read, I did find it uneven, with the two main female characters a bit one dimensional and the unexpected romance a little underwhelming. Still, an enjoyable book and a reminder that I should really go read Hannah Rotschild’s Improbability of Love.
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This is charming and funny and a very pleasant holiday read. Eejit aristocrats with a crumbling pile to rescue. I agree with other reviewers that ending felt very abrupt but hope this indicates that a sequel is in the offing.
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I really liked this book. It was enlightening and fun. 
The characters and the setting were captivating and I couldn’t put the book down. 
I really liked the characters 
I did feel that the ending was very abrupt and this surprised me 
A good read
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The House of Trelawney is the story of a once-grand stately home that's crumbling down around the present owner's ears. To give them they're correct title the 24th earl and the dowager countess.  Think of and up to date Downton abbey. There is no money to repair the failing roof. Nor can they afford hot water or heating. They are just holding on in the hope that somebody, somewhere will come to the rescue and save their once beautiful home. 
There are some likable characters here that had me laughing out loud. It's a good story that will enrapture the reader with its charming descriptions of the failing castle and the aristocratic family that surround it.

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.
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House of Trelawney is a great story about an 800 year old family struggling to exist in the modern day.
The family, along with its' ancient Cornish estate, is crumbling, and not keeping up with the times. Holding it all together is Jane, the wife of the current, dissolute, Earl Kitto. Even the names are from another time. This book explores whether the Trelawneys can be, should be, or even deserve saving. It isn't clear if they contribute anything to the modern world. 
When an unexpected letter arrives for Jane and her estranged sister-in-law Blaze, they must reconnect and save things from the mess the useless men have made of it. The story ends in such a way that it demands a sequel.
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