Legacy from Yesteryear by Victoria Trout and Penelope West
Victoria Trout and Penelope West
Legacy From Yesteryear is set in early December 1810 in London, England.
MARGARET WENTWORTH CARED for her mother, Melody, until she died from the wasting sickness. The day of her passing her husband, and Meg’s father, rushed to get doctor. When he returned, Melody died in his arms. He gently returned her to the bed, and upon standing had a heart attack and died instantly. Thus Legacy begins after the double funeral/burial of her parents. Meg finds out she is destitute and must live with distant relatives she has never met.
During her travel from London, England to The Haven, the family estate a full days carriage ride, Meg meets James Cunningham, the fifth son to the Duke of Sommerville. She is returning from the Inn they stopped to switch horses to for the carriage when she is separated from her traveling companion. Lost in a fog of grief she doesn’t realize she is alone until two questionable gentlemen accost her as she is walking in the yard.
Jamie, recognizing the cut of cloth of her pelisse and the aura of gentility, comes to her rescue. Once he has dispatched the dandies, he returns Meg to the relative safety of her carriage. Names are not exchanged, although he does hear her addressed as Miss Meg. He notes the direction the carriage takes, namely away from London, determined to discover her identity and situation. Unbeknownst to Jamie, he works as a solicitor for Meg’s family and his boss is in charge of Meg’s father’s will and estate.
Meg arrives after dark and is escorted upstairs to a room for the night. The next morning, after breakfast, she is presented to her new guardian, the Duke of Rochester. His opinion of females is very low, and his conversation is very uncaring of Meg’s emotional state. He demands that she begins her duties as secretary for his wife immediately. Still in shock from losing everything, and his indifferent manner of communication, she mutely complies.
She is able to sort all the communications and discovers, to her delight, her favorite cousin is coming to visit The Haven, will be arriving the very next day. Lady Tabitha Phillips was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Charlotte and is arriving to determine if one of the Duke’s daughters is ready for her come out.
Meg’s duties are to help prepare the household for the upcoming holiday house party the Duke and Duchess are having for Boxing Day. They feel since they didn’t know Meg’s family they will not be cancelling their holiday. Meg is told she will help prepare for events but would not be attending due to her “being in morning”. Also Meg’s room will remain in the servants’ quarters, at least until their guests leave after the holiday. Also she is to take her meals with the servants and rise early and take the “load” off the Duchess’ shoulder and run the household.
Fortunately, Meg’s mother had been preparing her to take care of a household, since Meg was supposed to have come out the year prior to Melody’s illness. Meg is able to perform her duties to the satisfaction of the Duchess.
About the Victoria Trout:
But I didn’t have the same fascination with the written word; in fact, English was my worst subject in school. I wasn’t able to understand grammar rules and exceptions, let alone understand all the spelling rules and exceptions.
However I loved reading, even though my mind would add words to the pages or miss important words in paragraphs. Until as an adult working with my children’s homeschooling, I accidentally discovered the main issue I have with the “English” language is dyslexia. This is a self-diagnoses, but it answered many questions I had about learning and why I simply wasn’t able to wrap my mind around grammar and spelling. Coming to the understanding that I really was trying my hardest to do the simple things, the same things others like my mom excelled at, this knowledge opened my mind to the possibility I was not stupid or crazy.
Review by John Phiser: If you like historical fiction, there’s something for everyone in this book: good period setting, the down and out woman looking for hope in her life, the rich aristocracy, dark secrets in the past, rich and hidden jewels, and all that good juicy stuff that makes a great historical novel. What elevates Trout and West’s book is their writing style & skill in managing characterization and plot.
I found this to be a fast, intense, thrilling, love stroke mystery story. Margaret Wentworth is no 2D character, but instead a complicated, remarkable character, and a very strong female character in a genre that usually draws women as beautiful victims at best. Definitely recommendable.
This is one you should certainly try out.
Review by Anna Othitis: Eighteen year old Margaret Wentworth lost both her parents now with all her heartache only to be told she has to leave for London to live with family who she has never met before.
Meeting James Cunningham, son of the Duke of Sommerville is very helpful to Meg and has taken a great liking to her. There is power of family in the novel where no decisions can be made without approvals. The story is set in the 1800 English era where family was prim and proper with values in life.
Meg finds a journal in which Serena writes to tell her future heiress of the existence of the jewels hidden around the estate. This journal gives a clue to the location of the first of the jewels with the indication that another clue will be found to assist in the locating of the next jewel. Beautifully written, an engaging storyline and admirable characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it to readers who enjoy love and mystery with flow and excitement, leaving suspense still to be continued.