The Orphans of Mersea House, a review by Di

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The Orphans of Mersea House
Marty Wingate

Alcove Press
August 9, 2022
288 pages

Amazon | Goodreads

The main setting of the book is an old house in a seaside town in England. The year is 1957. The house has been repurposed into a boarding/rooming house. Olive is the housekeeper. Her old friend Margery is the owner of the house and also runs a shop in town. There are 3 boarders. One of the boarders (my favourite) is Juniper, an 11-year-old orphan whose ability to walk has been affected by polio. She has been placed in Margery’s guardianship.

The first half of the book ambles along at a sleepy pace. It’s not a bad thing, it’s like a comfort read. There is a strong undercurrent that not everyone is as they are presented to the reader. Of course, everything is in the open in due course.

The town is portrayed as I think a British seaside town should be, in MY mind. There are some interesting characters. The one that stood out the most was Constance Binny, the local busybody who knows it all. It seems that her job is to dig out every little bit of gossip available. Even her name suits her character.

And, Olive, the housekeeper/manager of the home was extraordinary. She was intuitive in dealing with her guests and showed patience, empathy and understanding to the young girl, Juniper. To paraphrase Olive, the household consisted of an odd lot, but a lovely lot.

This is not the book for someone looking for a fast-paced book with lots of action. The plot is character driven. To me, it was a cozy, rainy day read. Ideally, I would cozy up with a cup of tea and this book. I think that fans of Rosamunde Pilcher would enjoy it. I found the writing style and tone quite similar.

This is a perfect book as a palate cleanser away from domestic thrillers, bodice ripper romances and action filled stories. A good reset.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the Advance Readers Copy.

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