Friday, 27 June 2008

59. Veronica Heley - Master of the Hall

Master of the Hall
Heley, Veronica
No. of pages:
First sentence:
It was a bad decision.

I started reading this series last year. In fact, Eden Hall was the first Christian fiction book I actually finished. I was attracted by its billing as a 'modern-day Cinderella' story. I read the first three books in quick succession but found Secret of the Hall a bit sinister. Fearing that Master of the Hall was be more so I avoided reading until now.

I found that I did enjoy this book although perhaps not as much as Eden Hall. Minty and Patrick are the same flawed but loveable characters and we are party to their exploration of what marriage and parenthood mean. The themes of forgiveness and prayer also run strongly in this book. The sinister element I had feared was not much in evidence. Indeed, I think that the author may have missed an opportunity here. But, of course, I would likely have laid the book aside had she taken that road. I did find that some of the plotting was a bit confusing and I'm still asking, 'Why?' on a couple of points.

Heley has a very pleasant narrative voice and I do look forward to reading more of her work.

Eden Hall is endowed with a wide variety of characters. I think my favourite is (understandably) Minty as I know most about her. Choosing from the more minor characters, however, my favourite is Carol because she's so honest and forthright without being intimidating.

I would recommend this book to others who enjoy Christian fiction and, specifically, to people who have read the proceeding books. This one could be read alone but I think a lot of the magic would be lost. The cover is attractive. Indeed, it makes me long to step into the warm, fire-lit room Minty is looking at. The title is only specially meaningful in the light of the book's ending so I shall not write about that here.


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