The Heritage by Jean Wallace Duffy

The Heritage by Jean Wallace Duffy
Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers, LTD.
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (247 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

A story of young lives maturing through debt, war and love

The Heritage tells the story of the young Dupois family who have recently lost their parents and struggle with debts they have been left. Moving from the family home to a dilapidated old house in Lyme Regis bequeathed to the eldest child, Michael, is their only option.

Michael, Paula, Nicholas and Joanne are the children and only surviving members of the Dupois family. Their father has died recently, and that, coupled with the death of their mother some six years previously has drawn them close to each other. This closeness helps them through some difficult times, not least in discovering that their father’s debts results in them having to sell the large family home in York and move to Lyme Regis to live in an old dilapidated house, Greystones, bequeathed to Michael by an uncle.

They are young adults, but they live in an age of relative innocence. Their fortunes change when they discover, with the help of a long dead relative, secrets hidden within the old house. This, coupled with finding out that their father’s investments weren’t so hopeless after all allows them to plan their futures.

However, their innocence and their plans are abruptly shattered by the onset of the Second World War. They all serve their country in their own way, always with the bedrock of the family to support them through difficult times, until Greystones once again becomes the hub of the Dupois family.

The solid, narrative style writing of Jean Wallace Duffy brings the story of the Dubois family of Northampton Shire, England to life and immerses the reader in the story so it seems absolutely true. Her writing style is not seen too often in fiction and romance these days. It is compelling.

In 1932 the Dubois siblings, twenty-two-year-old Michael, eighteen-year-old Paula, sixteen-year-old Nicholas, and fourteen-year-old Joanne find their economic status changed drastically.

Their strength of character emerges as they gear down their life style to live within their means. When finances surprisingly improve, they plan wisely for themselves and for others they feel responsible for.

When England declares war on German in 1939, the four Dubois revamp their priorities. With the same do-what-has-to-be done attitude, each of them uses his or her talents and abilities to serve their country as World War II ravages their homeland. The horrors and misery they see and deal with touch the heart and assail the senses.

The love that comes to each of the siblings, during this time when the world seems to have gone crazy, gives the reader a glimpse of the enduring and the endearing qualities of the characters as they cope, survive, love, and come to prosper in spite of the devastation during this time in history.

Jean Wallace Duffy delves into the best of times and the worst of times in an era when the world changed dramatically. The Heritage combines love, family solidarity, history and a lot of I am my brothers’ keeper attitude to create memorable and compelling reading.

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