Thursday, October 03, 2019

"Inheritance" by Evelyn Toynton - An American Anglophile Learns Painful Truths about the British Upper Class

Author Evelyn Toynton has penned a novel that chronicles the difficult journey of an American Anglophile who learns that all is not formal gardens and primroses among the British upper class. After the death of her husband, protagonist Annie Devereaux moves to London without a plan except to come to know the England she has always fantasized about. She meets and moves in with Julian, whose mother is a renowned geneticist. Annie is soon drawn into the spider's web that is this spectacularly dysfunctional English family. As she visit the family estate in the West Country of England, she becomes involved with Julian's sisters, Sasha and Isabel.

As Annie ends her relationship with the abusive Julian, she draws closer to Isabel, who guides her through progressively deeper and darker layers of family history and tragedy. The irony is that Helena Denby, the mater familias of the clan, has dabbled in fascist eugenics theories, yet has produced a spectacularly troubled brood of her own offspring.

The author explores the question of what happens when fantasies and ideals are shattered by harsh realities? The book is well researched and well written, and captivates the reader.



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