9 May 2017


Book Review / The Valentine House by Emma Henderson

In June 1914, Sir Anthony Valentine, a keen mountaineer, arrives with his family to spend the summer in their chalet, high in the French Alps. There, for the first time, fourteen-year-old foundling Mathilde starts work as one of the 'uglies' - village girls employed as servants and picked, it is believed, to ensure they don't catch Sir Anthony's roving eye.

For Mathilde it is the start of a life-long entanglement with les anglais - strange, exciting people, far removed from the hard grind of farming. Except she soon finds the Valentines are less carefree than they appear, with a curiously absent daughter no one talks about. It will be decades - disrupted by war, accidents and a cruel betrayal - before Mathilde discovers the key to the mystery. And in 1976, the year Sir Anthony's great-great grandson comes to visit, she must decide whether to use it.

Vividly evoking the dramatic landscape that so enthrals the Valentines, this deeply involving, intriguing novel tells the story of an English family through the generations and a memorable French woman, whose lives seem worlds apart yet which become inextricably connected.

Published:     6th April 2017
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


What I liked about this book...  This book was very much a surprise for me.  This is not normally something that I would pick up in a book shop but there is nothing that I like more is a good family drama with the prospect of deep family secrets along side this.  What I liked the most about this book was the sense of history and following Mathilde where she joins the Valentine household and also many many years later when she is not that far away...  I liked the sense of family history going through the different generations starting with Sir Anthony Valentine (who was a character that I deeply disliked at the start of the book but have to say that I liked him a bit more by the time I got to the end). 

What I didn't like about this book...  This book was a bit slow moving for me.  I had wished there was a bit more pace and a bit more drama or something surprising happen.  That's not to say that I didn't enjoy this book, I did and would recommend it for those who like a bit more of a laid back style family style book.