My review for Tall Chimneys by Allie Cresswell, 5/5 stars.
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Beautifully written, Tall Chimneys follows the story of Evelyn Talbot, who is sent to live in her family’s stately home at a young age. She leads a sheltered life, which conditions the decisions she makes through the years. Even as a young girl, Evelyn comes across as having a weak personality, unable to go against her family’s wishes. However, it’s easy to forget that women were treated in a certain way only a few decades ago, and if you bear that in mind you start to feel sorry for Evelyn as she struggles to keep her independence while having to conform to society’s expectations.
This book evokes images of times gone by, through its descriptive narrative and the customs of the characters. The narrative draws you into the story, keeping you turning the pages as you see how the story develops. As Evelyn matures she becomes the woman you desperately want her to be, but will she be able to break free from years of having to behave in a certain way? Her destiny becomes enmeshed with that of the house, as war creates havoc throughout the world and their once-glamorous existence declines.
The bitter-sweet ending ties up all the loose ends nicely, and leaves the reader with a sense of having lived Evelyn’s life through the pages of this book. This is a long read, but highly worth it!