TRENHAWK by Mary Williams


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A stolid gothic romance set in Cornwall, with its seasonal wallops of gales, fogs, and a dash of gentlemanly 19th-century smuggling. Adelaide Hawksley is a young widow whose husband, David, has recently been killed in the Crimean War. And the turreted mansion of Trenhawk has passed to David's cousin Rupert, who, Adelaide knows, is pressed for money. Yet when Adelaide arrives at Trenhawk and offers to buy the estate with its adjoining mine, Rupert refuses. The two feud; Adelaide explores the house, including the tower, which seems to contain a rather potent shadow; she meets deaf child Julian, who bears a strong resemblance to Rupert. And passions erupt: Rupert ends his affair with the goodnatured housekeeper Elizabeth. . . while Adelaide, in a moment of mad transport, dallies al fresco with neighbor Anthony St. Clare, an ancestral Hawksley enemy. So, when pregnancy ensues, Rupert offers to marry Adelaide; and though baby Genevre is the unlovable, redhaired image of Anthony's fierce old grandmother, Rupert and Adelaide, after many squabbles, will learn to love one another--and Adelaide will learn the true story of Julian's parentage. Rupert has financial troubles throughout; the mine explodes; there's a shooting, smuggling, three more children are born, and the Tower performs some (strictly road-company) ectoplasmic shadow-plays. Finally, then, Rupert dies heroically in a storm--as Adelaide decides that the message of the house is love, not death: she'll carry on. An adequate--but less-than-tasty--Cornish pasty.

Pub Date: April 6th, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's