Review Blog

Mar 20 2020

The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey

cover image

Mantle UK, 2020. ISBN: 9781529014181. 336pp.
Recommended for adult readers. War threatens London. Not only are precious children evacuated, but valuable museum artifacts. The Natural History Museum chooses Lockwood Manor as a safe location, and Hetty Cartwright as the chosen guardian.
However, Lockwood Manor is large and foreboding, chilling and moody - a mansion of many rooms. A sad family history echoes in its halls, and in the eyes of Lucy, the daughter of Lord Lockwood when Hetty first arrives.
Brusque introductions (and departures) have Hetty on edge, as do the movement and disappearance of some museum exhibits in her care.
Told in 2 voices - first Hetty, then Lucy, this debut novel from Jane Healey weaves together historical fiction and mystery, as Hetty endeavours to protect the collection from war, a zealous host, a ghost(?) and vengeful past residents of Lockwood Manor.
With gothic elements of doom and gloom (courtesy of WWII), madness, females compromised simply by being female, and talk of ghosts, The Animals of Lockwood Manor provides a little twist - with the relationship between Hetty and Lucy - no Mr Rochester in sight.
Linda Weeks

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