When governess Anna Arbuthnot arrives at Ridey Hall, she finds a house in deep mourning. Lyndon Wilder, the oldest and most beloved son of Lord and Lady Charles has been killed in the Napoleonic wars, leaving behind him a now orphaned daughter, Lottie. Troublesome Lottie soon finds her match in her new governess, Anna who quickly establishes a bond with her young charge but other relationships begin to strain under the weight of Lyndon's absence.I have not read any historical fiction for a while but I really enjoyed this book by E. A. Dineley. The whole story revolves around the death of Lyndon Wilder who was killed in the Napoleonic War. His brother, Captain Thomas Wilder is now heir to Ridley Hall and guardian of his niece Lottie. He has to return from his duty to parents who barely know him and view their younger son as a poor replacement for Lyndon. Lady Charles is spectacular in her grief, she will not hear a bad word said about her beloved Lyndon and Major Wilder, although hurt by his mother's attitude, will not reveal the truth about the life and death of his older brother.
As executor of his brother's will and guardian of Lottie, Major Thomas Wilder is forced to leave the military life he loves, to return to Ridley where he finds his family and estate in chaos.
When an unexpected guest arrives threatening to reveal the truth about Lyndon Wilder to the parents who adore him, Ridley Hall's futre is thrown into question. It is only with Anna's help that Thomas can save Ridley, and most crucially protect his parents from the truth about Lyndon Wilder.
Anna Arbuthnot is the character who ties them all together. She is employed at Ridley as Lottie's governess. Captain Wilder's return throws everything upside down and Anna suddenly has more to worry about than keeping Lottie in line.
The Death of Lyndon Wilder and the Consequences Thereof is a lengthy read at 584 pages. . There were times when I felt that the story slowed a little but overall I thought it had good pace. I felt there were some comparisons to be made with Jane Eyre, Captain Wilder does not have a w
ife locked in the tower but he could certainly be described as brooding.
Anna Arbuthnot is a particularly interesting character; we learn about her life and how she came to be a governess and more importantly why she is so adverse to accepting Captain Wilder's affections.
The Death of Lyndon Wilder and the Consequences Thereof is a very interesting read. It will appeal to fans of historical fiction and the classics. This is E. A. Dineley's first book and I am looking forward to what she does next.
Dot Scribbles Rating: 4/5
Many thanks to the lovely people at Corsair for sending me a copy of the book to review, it is available now.