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Reviewed by Teresa Syms for Readers' Favorite
The House in the Hollow by Allie Cresswell is a historical novel depicting the lives of the Talbot family. Mr. Talbot is wealthy but has not been accepted into elite society. However, Lord Petrel takes Mr. Talbot under his wing and introduces him into England’s most prestigious homes. The Talbot marriage is very convenient but is overshadowed by Lord Petrel’s constant presence as one of the family. Mrs. Talbot’s mission is to find her daughter Jocelyn a good match. However, Jocelyn has found a love interest in Lieutenant Barnaby Willow, but the events of the war interfere, and Mrs. Talbot and Lord Petrel have other ideas in mind. Suddenly Jocelyn finds herself caught in a sordid scandal created by her mother and Lord Petrel. She is dishonored, shunned by society, and forced into seclusion in an isolated house in the Hollow. Jocelyn is humiliated, angry, and lonely. She constantly awaits news from her family…news she never receives.
Allie Cresswell’s The House in the Hollow is a fantastic book. Cresswell is to be applauded for plot creation. The reader is able to visualize each and every character, the dark dreariness of the House in the Hollow, as well as being able to feel the emotional tangle that Jocelyn finds herself caught in. Her anger toward her mother, Lord Petrel, and Carolyn feeds her isolation and loneliness. Caught in the tangled web created by Mrs. Talbot and Lord Petrel leaves Jocelyn feeling the sting of her love for Barnaby Willow, a love that will be put aside because of war and situations forced upon Jocelyn and her household. Allie Cresswell has created a story that will hold the reader’s interest until the very end…and leaves the reader wanting more of this great story. This book is a tangled web of lies, deceit, social positioning, all at the cost of Jocelyn and her life. I absolutely enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading more from this author.