The Empty House by Rosamunde Pilcher
Virginia Keile has a secret dream. To have a second chance at loving the tall, handsome Cornish farmer she met – and foolishly lost – the heady summer she was a debutante. Life has taught Virginia a great deal in twenty-seven years – about wedding a titled bachelor picked out by her mother, about a lonely marriage that ended in her husband’s accidental death, and about nearly losing her children to her husband’s mother and bossy Nanny. Now she has come back to picturesque Cornwall to rent a battered seaside cottage. For herself and for the children. And to discover if this time she can fill an empty house with love.
Pilcher is one of my all time favourite authors but I still haven’t read all of her books. This one was on offer on the Kindle so I bought it for my holiday.
I enjoyed this book but sadly I didn’t gel with the main character Virginia. Virginia has spent her entire life so far being pushed around and told what to do, either by her mother, her husband, her mother in law and the family Nanny. Virginia is very good at making excuses, she has a lot of excuses for why she didn’t try to get back into touch with Eustace, she has excuses for why she doesn’t look after her own children and many more besides. To be honest I really disliked Virginia because she was such a weak character.
Virginia really made her mother out as a baddie but actually I can see some of the reasons behind her mothers actions. Yes, she was also a bit of nightmare but overall she wanted the best for her daughter and wanted to protect her from a man who was a good deal older than her daughter. But Virginia as usual made it out as all her mothers fault rather than taking the blame herself.
The book really paints Virginia as a victim but to be honest I have little sympathy for her. I also didn’t really like Eustace as he was rude and a bit of a bully. The thing that saved this story for me was Pilcher’s amazing descriptions and nobody can create an atmosphere like Pilcher. Pilcher’s writing is excellent but sadly I just didn’t get along with her characters. Overall, my rating is 3 out of 5 Dragons.
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About the author
Rosamunde Pilcher was born on the 22nd September 1924 in Cornwall. She began writing when she was 7 and published her first short story at the age of 15. From 1943 to 1946 she served with the Women’s Royal Naval Service. In 1946 she married her Graham Hope Pilcher and they moved to Dundee, Scotland together. In 1949 Pilcher’s first novel was published under the pseudonym Jane Fraser, she went on to publish a further ten novels under that name. In 1955 she published her first novel under her own name, by 1965 she had dropped the pseudonym entirely. Pilcher retired from writing in 2000, two years later she received her OBE.