Monday, May 21, 2012

Houses as Characters in Novels

One of my favorite categories of novels to read is the type where a house (or manor/castle/cottage/plantation/estate) plays an integral part of the story....the house is so alive and has a personality all its own, it's as if it is a living, breathing character. Show me a book that features an ancient estate on a cliff by the sea, a crumbling cottage deep in the woods, or a grand old manor haunted by the shadows of its past inhabitants, and it's a keeper for me!

 I've begun brainstorming as many examples of places in novels that I have either read or placed in my TBR pile and I'd love it if you'd help me expand my list. I have included links if you'd like to read more about the books. If you have any great books which feature an estate, cottage, plantation, manor, house, castle,  etc... that are not listed here, please let me know so I can add them to my library to explore! The key is that the house/place/estate must feature significantly in the plot. Enjoy!



Barton Hall (A Cottage by the Sea by Ciji Ware)

Belheddon Hall (House of Echoes by Barbara Erskine)

Bleak House (Bleak House by Charles Dickens)

Blackhurst Manor (The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton)


Cashelmara (Cashelmara by Susan Howatch)

Castle Leoch (The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon)

Chateau Valmy (Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart)


Dragonwyck (Dragonwyck by Anya Seton)

Drogheda (The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough)

Drumveyn (Drumveyn by Alexandra Raife)


Eden Castle (This Other Eden by Marilyn Harris)


Frasier's Ridge (The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon)


Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery)

Greywethers (Mariana by Susanna Kearsley)


Hassanganj (Zemindar by Valerie Fitzgerald)


Island of the Swans (Island of the Swans by Ciji Ware)


Jamaica Inn (Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier)


Kilmarth (The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier)


Lallybroch (The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon)


Manderley (Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier)

Mansfield Park (Mansfield Park by Jane Austen)

Milderhurst Castle (The Distant Hours by Kate Morton)

Misselthwaithe Manor (The Secret Garden by Frances Hodges Burnett)

Mount Mellyn (Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt)


Northanger Abbey (Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen)



Pemberley (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

Penmarric (Penmarric by Susan Howatch)



River Run (The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon)

Rose Cottage (Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart)


Selwick Hall (The Pink Carnation Series by Lauren Willig)


Tamworth (Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen)

Tara (Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell)

Thornfield Hall (Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte)

Thornyhold (Thornyhold by Mary Stewart)

Thrushcross Grange (Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte)

Thunder Heights (Thunder Heights by Phyllis Whitney)

Twelve Oaks (Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell)




Wildfell Hall (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte)

Wuthering Heights (Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte)




Friday, May 11, 2012

New Novel from Kate Morton!

I'm a fan of Kate Morton's beautiful and haunting writing....The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, and The House at Riverton are favorites of mine. I'm so looking forward to her new release this fall of The Secret Keeper!     

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Book Quotes

I decided to put a little twist on today's Top Ten Tuesday topic, Favorite Quotes from Books, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

 When I sat down to think of book quotes, I kept thinking of all the memorable words from one of my all-time favorite novels, Gone With the Wind.

 There were so many I couldn't possible select just one, so I decided to make my entire post about my favorite quotes and passages from Margaret Mitchell's classic.

Her eyes followed the winding road, blood-red now after the morning rain. In her thought she traced its course....through the tangled swampy bottoms and up the next hill to Twelve Oaks where Ashley lived. That was all the road meant now--a road to Ashley and the beautiful white-columned house that crowned the hill like a Greek temple.

"Oh, Ashley! Ashley!"--Scarlett O'Hara


Most of the young ladies were seated with partners on the long benches that faced the tables, but Scarlett, realizing that a girl has only two sides and only one man can sit on each of these sides, had elected to sit apart so she could gather about her as many men as possible.


“Sir," she said, "you are no gentleman!"

"An apt observation," he answered airily. 

"And, you, Miss, are no lady.” --Scarlett & Rhett


“No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.” --Rhett Butler


 “No, my dear, I'm not in love with you, no more than you are with me, and if I were, you would be the last person I'd ever tell. God help the man who ever really loves
you." -- Rhett Butler


“Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them.” --Scarlett


The doctor wasn't coming......Thank God, Prissy knew all about midwifery.


"You are drunk," she said coldly, "and I am going to bed."

"I am very drunk and I intend to get still drunker before the evenings over. But you are not going to bed- --not yet..." -- Scarlett & Rhett

"I wish I could care what you do or where you go, but I can't."

He drew a short breath and said lightly but softly,

"My dear, I don't give a damn." -- Rhett


She thought of Tara and it was as if a gentle cool hand were stealing over her heart. She could see the white house gleaming welcome to her through the reddening autumn leaves, feel the quiet hush of the country twilight coming down over her like a benediction, feel the dews falling on the acres of green bushes starred with fleecy white, see the raw color of the read earth and the dismal dark beauty of the pines on the rolling hills......And Mammy would be there. Suddenly she wanted Mammy desperately, as she had wanted herr when she was a little girl, wanted the broad bosom on which to lay her head, the gnarled black hand on her hair.....

"I'll think of it all  tomorrow, at Tara...I'll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day." --Scarlett

I had so much fun flipping through my battered copy of Gone With the Wind looking for favorite quotes and passages, I just might have to do an Outlander version!!!

 ***Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.****

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spotlight on .....Overseas by Beatriz Williams

What's the buzz in my book world lately? I've had my eye on debut novel Overseas by Beatriz Williams.....billed as a romantic time-travel story,  this one has my name all over it.

 Here's the book synopsis, and if it sounds interesting to you, author Lauren Willig has a Q&A with the Williams and a chance to win the novel. It will be released May 10, 2012. Book Synopsis from the author's website:

  "Amiens, France, 1916: Captain Julian Ashford, a British officer in the trenches of the Western Front, is waylaid in the town square by Kate, a beautiful young American. Julian’s never seen her before, but she has information about the reconnaissance mission he’s about to embark on. Who is she, and why did she track him down in Amiens?

 New York, 2007: A young Wall Street analyst, Kate Wilson learned to rely on logic and cynicism. So why does she fall so desperately in love with Julian Laurence, a handsome British billionaire with a mysterious past?

 What she doesn't know is that he has been waiting for her... the enchanting woman who emerged from the shadows of the Great War to save his life."

I think this sounds wonderful.....timeless love.....past and present colliding.....I'm looking forward to it.

Favorite Period Dramas

Mount TBR

Joanne's to-read book montage

On a Highland Shore
A Light on the Veranda
The Queen's Vow: A Novel Of Isabella Of Castile
The Edwardians
Maisie Dobbs
Howards End
Lady's Maid
Instruments Of Darkness
When Maidens Mourn
Where Shadows Dance
What Remains of Heaven
Where Serpents Sleep
Why Mermaids Sing
When Gods Die
Before Ever After
The Sugar Queen
Garden Spells
After the Night

Joanne's favorite books »