As a child, Anne Fairfield dreams of the father she never knew, the hero who died fighting the French and their Indian allies in a land across the sea. Her mother’s stories, and fantasies of her own devising, sustain and nurture her through a poor and lonely existence. Until one winter night, a strange man comes to call, and the life she has known comes crashing down like shattered glass.
Forced to confront sordid truths, secrets and lies, the headstrong young woman begins to learn that, like generations of women ruled by their hearts, she is destined to follow in their footsteps.
Set against the backdrop of 18th century England, Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter is the first book in “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy, which follows Anne from the rural countryside, to London society and into the center of the American Revolution.
Jane Austen showed us the gentle side of 19th century England; Kathy Fischer-Brown sets her work a century earlier and shows us how envy, revenge, and greed can work to effect long-term changes on one young woman.
This book (and I assume the ones that follow it) are not stand-alone books. I admit, I’m used to books, even those in a series, being ones you can read separately. The Serpent’s Tooth Trilogy is just that — a real trilogy. It caught this reader off-guard to reach the end of the book, but not the end of the story by any means. So, caveat emptor, if you are the kind of reader who does not like to wait to find out what happens next—buy all three books in this trilogy at once.
Our heroine, Anne has been brought up to believe that her father is dead–dying a heroic death in war. When her mother is on her deathbed, however, she discovers that not only is her father alive but lives close enough he has been able to keep up with the family. He wants to make amends and bring the whole family back together, but it’s too late for Anne’s mother. And, Anne has a hard time forgiving her father for his apparent disregard of them for years.
Anne’s suspicions and anger at her father lead her into many complications and issues –reminiscent, at times, of the gothic novels I grew up on. Who can Anne trust? Who should she avoid?
The author does a wonderful job of showing all these complications clearly, with apt description, and I could easily see this series as a movie–maybe one day I will. So, if you are a fan of dark gothic themes, enjoy seeing the underbelly of British society and what goes on behind the scenes, as it were, I highly recommend you buy this trilogy.
As for now I’m completely hooked and off to read the “rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey would have said.