Title: The Misanthrope’s Mansion
Author: Emma L. Saville
Seventeen year old Leah is mad at the world and usually stoned before she makes it to school – both her parents are dead and she and her younger brother live with an aunt who’s more interested in screwing her boss than taking care of two damaged kids.
Leah’s opportunity for a fresh start arises when she is offered a nanny job in England. Promising her brother she will return, she embarks on her new adventure. When she arrives at the enormous mansion in the heart of the beautiful English countryside, however, she soon learns no nanny position ever existed. What follows is a story of courage, an unlikely love affair, and surprising self-recognition as Leah attempts to escape from her misanthropic captor and keep her promise to return to her brother.
I picked this up more on the concept of a mansion isolated from everything than anything else. I wasn’t too crazy about Leah being a drug addict, but I know some ex-addicts and I hoped she’d be okay.
Leah was not really what I expected. From what I know of addiction (which, admittedly, is all second-hand), I thought it would have been slightly more prominent in Leah’s mind, at least in the beginning. Other than that, though, I really liked her – she was courageous and loved her brother above anything.
There were quite a few other characters, but except for the controlling Lady Margaret, they were all bland. Normally, that would annoy me. But in this case, it was understandable because Margaret kept everybody too scared to express anything. (Well, except for Riley, but he didn’t have a lot of page time.)
The whole concept was interesting. The mansion was self-sufficient and kept people from leaving. It was interesting how, even though there were other outsiders brought in, Leah (and the boy they bring in with her) are the only ones who really think about escaping. But Lady Margaret kept everyone so scared of her and she was dead set on not letting anyone out. It was unique and held my interest.
Overall, The Misanthrope’s Mansion was good, but I have the nagging feeling that something that I can’t put my finger on was missing. It wasn’t my favorite book, but I don’t regret the read.
I received a free review copy of The Misanthrope’s Mansion from the author. Her generosity in no way influenced, or sought to influence, this review.
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