Featured: The Mazzard Tree by Marcia Clayton
This heart-warming and captivating novel portrays a young woman who uses her determination and willpower to search for happiness.
1880 North Devon, England
Annie Carter is a farm labourer’s daughter and life is a continual struggle for survival. When her father dies of consumption, her mother, Sabina, is left with seven hungry mouths to feed and another child on the way.
To save them from the workhouse or starvation, Annie steals vegetables from the Manor House garden, risking jail or transportation.
Unknown to her, she is watched by Robert, the wealthy heir to the Hartford Estate, but far from turning her in, he befriends her.
Despite their different social backgrounds, Annie and Robert develop feelings they know can have no future.
Harry Rudd, the village blacksmith, has long admired Annie, and when he proposes, her mother urges her to accept.
She reminds Annie, that as a kitchen-maid, she will never be allowed to marry Robert.
Harry is a good man and Annie is fond of him.
Her head knows what she should do, but will her heart listen?
Set against the harsh background of the rough, class-divided society of Victorian England, this heart-warming and captivating novel portrays a young woman who uses her determination and willpower to defy the circumstances of her birth in her search for happiness.
Meet Marcia Clayton:
I was born in North Devon, a rural and picturesque area in the far South West of England. I am a farmer’s daughter, and my family has lived in this region for generations. I have always enjoyed the peaceful way of life to be found here, and would never wish to live anywhere else.
When I left school I worked in a bank for several years until I married my husband, Bryan, and then stayed at home for a few years to care for my three sons. As they grew older, I returned to work, first as a Marie Curie nurse caring for the terminally ill, and then for the local authority managing school transport. I remained in this job until retirement.
I like gardening, and we grow most of our own vegetables. I’m interested in researching family history, and this hobby inspired some of the characters in my books. I love reading and also walking in the beautiful Devon countryside.
I have written three books in the “Hartford Manor Series” which is set in North Devon in Victorian times. I wrote my first book The Mazzard Tree, in spare moments over several years as I was also working full time and raising my family. The second book is called The Angel Maker, and the third book, The Rabbit’s Foot.
You can find out more about me and my books on my website: https://marciaclayton.co.uk/
Praise for The Mazzard Tree:
The novel as a plot for the BBC series
The plot of this novel is simply amazing for all lovers of historical dramas. The love between young Annie Carter of a farm laborer family and wealthy heir Robert takes place in Victorian England. The characters are so vividly and emotionally written that I got involved in the story along with the characters. Will young lovers be able to overcome class differences and get their share of happiness? I empathized with the heroes, imagining how the world has changed over these 150 years. Highly recommend this novel for long cold evenings by the fireplace.
A wonderful and captivating story
This is a powerful novel about the harsh realities of life in the late 1800s if you are poor. The story is set around Annie Carter, a farm labourer’s daughter. Like all poor families of that era, they struggle to make ends meet and, when her father dies, the situation becomes dire. Annie resorts to stealing vegetables from the nearby manor house and meets Robert, the second son of the owner. And so begins a beautiful, but possibly doomed love story. I love the author’s style. Her description of life in those days completely captured me. I grew up in rural Northern Ireland in the 1960s and I remember getting up on cold winter mornings to do the milking. I also remember rosehip seeds being put down my back! I loved this book and am looking forward to now reading the next one.
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