In County Cork, Ireland there lies a fabulous estate of fifty-two rooms on nineteen thousand acres of land. It is the home of the Blackshaw family. Many would assume that wealth and privilege would make life perfect. However, the residents of Tyringham Park (M) prove the old adage that ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’.
The family Blackshaw are a dysfunctional lot. An older husband who
is absent most of the time, a young vivacious wife who lives and
breathes horses much to the detriment of her young daughters. Then of
course there are the servants. The children’s nursemaids, the
housekeeper, the groom… they all weave an intricate web of relationships
and betrayals that will ensnare the reader.
Set between the years of 1917 and 1943, this historical family saga
recounts the life of Charlotte Blackshaw. As a child she was neglected
by her mother and abused by her nurse which left her in a fragile
emotional state. When she is nine years old her younger sister Victoria
goes missing. The impact of this event ensures that Charlotte’s life
and the life of everyone at Tyringham Park is irrevocably changed.
The narrative follows Charlotte from the age of nine to age
thirty-five. It ponders the issues of nature vs. nurture,
childlessness, how responsible adults can influence the psyche of
innocent children, and most importantly, how fleeting indiscretions can
be life changing.
A debut novel by artist/author Rosemary McLoughlin, “Tyringham Park”
will appeal to readers of “Jane Eyre” and Kate Morton’s “The Forgotten
Garden”. Fans of “Downton Abbey” and “Upstairs, Downstairs” will
surely enjoy it. As I fit all these criteria, I can honestly say it was
a memorable favorite.