Sumerford's Autumn

Barbara Gaskell
ISBN Number: 

It is the end of the 15th century, King Henry VII is fighting desperately to retain his throne against one who calls himself Richard Plantagenet. Among those subjects, the Earl of Sumerford’s four sons struggle to make their mark, choose their side and stand their ground.

As a knight, Ludovic, the Earl’s youngest, finds his commitment to honor taxed when he chooses to help the destitute family of a young stableboy killed in the Earl’s employ.  Allyson, the oldest sister is given a job as a ladies maid to help recompense the starving family.   Event’s at Sumorford castle turn mysteriously dangerous, however, as Ludovic’s oldest, and mentally challenged brother, Humphrey, is accused of a brutal attack on Allyson.  His brother Gerald is too caught up in political intrigue to pay attention. Nor does his brother Brice, whose comings and goings are always a mystery, take any interest.  Suddenly,  life is turned upside down as treachery, deceit and murder threaten to destroy everything the family holds dear - even each other.

What an amazingly told story!! This one is intricate, it is rich, it is flawlessly researched and it is extraordinarily written! Ms. Denvil tells a tale so sumptuous, that even with the extended length, one becomes completely lost within the pages and unable to put it down.  The historical details are extensive and, while incorporated into the story effortlessly,  the mere quantity tends to drag the flow down.  It is also a graphically gruesome tale. While the particulars are undoubtably realistic, parts may be hard for sensitive readers to stomach. Still, even with the gore, it is a beautifully written tale of intrigue tragedy and the power of love!

TJ Mackay