by Jane Healey
I felt quite disappointed in this book, even though the synopsis made it sound just my type of book, it wasn’t really. I think it’s the style of the writing and the way in which it has been written. It also felt very long winded too. Just because it wasn’t to my liking though doesn’t mean that it’ll be the same for you.
Hetty Cartwright works in the Taxidermy Department for the Natural History Museum in London. Due to WWII and all of the senior men in the department having now enlisted she has been promoted, and is now in charge of all the taxidermy animals. She has also been put in charge of packing up the animals ready to ship them out of London.
So after weeks of packing up the museum’s most treasured stuffed animals, making sure that they won’t get damaged during transportation, Hetty finally arrives at Lockwood Manor. Where she and her precious animals will stay for the remainder of the war.
Things don’t go so smoothly for Hetty as within a couple of day’s their most prised animal the Jaguar goes missing, other pieces also keep being moved around and put in different rooms. She goes to the Major and asks for his help, but he just shuffles it under the carpet. So she starts to ask the staff if they know what’s happening. They too also seem very reluctant to answer her questions. So she insists that she and the house keeper search the entire house going from room to room looking for the lost Jaguar. This really doesn’t go down well with the staff of the manor and they make it obvious that her being there is disrupting the daily running’s of the house.
The only good thing about being stuck at the manor is that Hetty is becoming good friends with Lady Lockwood, Lucy as she likes to be know the Major’s only daughter. The two of them almost become inseparable and they become closer and closer.
But things aren’t all they seem to be, Lucy has a troubled mind and she’s worried she’ll go mad like her mother. unbeknown to Lucy & Hetty things have been deeply hidden from Lucy by her father, and things eventually become a bit strained between the girls.
While things are still strained between the girl the Major decides to hold a big banquet for some of his chums. Forcing Lucy to attend as she is the Lady of the Manor. The Major also insists that Hetty is also in attendance, as he wants to use the animals from the museum. As the backdrop for the banquet. He insists that the animals of his choosing are arraigned around the room. He also insists that the banquet is held by candle light, which has Hetty in a flap as she’s worried about the animals being damaged and that the Major is trying to pass the animal collection off as his own.
The banquet doesn’t go as the Major planned, it ends abruptly with devastating consequences that there is no coming back from.
As I have already said this book really wasn’t to my liking and I found it long winded and hard to read.
Pages: 352, Publication Date: 5 March 2020, My Rating: