Set in the early 1900’s against the damp backdrop of West Yorkshire, we meet Ruby May who after surviving trauma as a child relocates to become a Nurse Maid to the England children. Due to her previous family emigrating it is necessary to find a new family and she is keen to settle into her new role even if it is in a very remote location compared to London.
Quite quickly as you read you become wary of the family and the strange relationship between Mr & Mrs England and the strange looks that pass between the staff. Nurse May works hard to prove herself and keep sending money home to look after her poorly sister and you get to see the true strength and determination behind her character as the story unfolds. Filled with vivid descriptions throughout the book, it makes it easy to visualise the mill and its remote location.
Throughout this story I couldn’t decide if Mr England or Mrs England had the strangest behaviour and as their secrets continued to unravel I found my opinion constantly changing. As the secrets come to light, Ruby is pushed to find her inner courage and we learn more of what happened in Ruby’s early life as she becomes worried about history repeating itself.
Another powerful and enthralling ready by Stacey Halls that leaves you keen to keep reading and discover the truth behind the deception and secrets.
Mrs England is a gripping feminist mystery where a nanny must travel to Yorkshire to a grand house filled with secrets. For there’s no such thing as the perfect family…
‘Something’s not right here.’
I was aware of Mr Booth’s eyes on me, and he seemed to hold his breath. ‘What do you mean?’
‘In the house. With the family.’
West Yorkshire, 1904. When newly graduated nurse Ruby May takes a position looking after the children of Charles and Lilian England, a wealthy couple from a powerful dynasty of mill owners, she hopes it will be the fresh start she needs. But as she adapts to life at the isolated Hardcastle House, it becomes clear there’s something not quite right about the beautiful, mysterious Mrs England.
Distant and withdrawn, Lilian shows little interest in her children or charming husband, and is far from the ‘angel of the house’ Ruby was expecting. As the warm, vivacious Charles welcomes Ruby into the family, a series of strange events forces her to question everything she thought she knew. Ostracised by the servants and feeling increasingly uneasy, Ruby must face her demons in order to prevent history from repeating itself. After all, there’s no such thing as the perfect family – and she should know.
Simmering with slow-burning menace, Mrs England is a portrait of an Edwardian marriage, weaving an enthralling story of men and women, power and control, courage, truth and the very darkest deception. Set against the atmospheric West Yorkshire landscape, Stacey Halls’ third novel proves her one of the most exciting and compelling new storytellers of our times.
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Meet the Author
Stacey Halls was born in 1989 and grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and has written for publications including the Guardian, Stylist,Psychologies, the Independent, the Sun and Fabulous. Her first book, The Familiars, was the bestselling debut hardback novel of 2019, won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards’ Debut Book of the Year.
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