It is the summer of 1892 and fifteen-year-old Tilly Pound has come to Linden Rise – the holiday cottage of the genteel but dysfunctional Culverton family – to work as a housemaid. She starts as just another member of ‘the help’ but, as the years pass and the 19th century judders its unwieldy way into the 20th, this tough and resourceful young woman becomes an anchor in a fragmenting world.
Mr and Mrs Culverton are trapped in a loveless marriage, rocked by his obvious infidelities and marked by her helplessness and fragility. Their children are raising themselves until Tilly arrives, and it remains to be seen whether her lively good sense can change their lives for the better . . .
A beautifully written, razor-sharp saga that paints a vivid portrait of the fraught and nuanced relationships between parents and their children, Linden Rise is full of the charming child characters that Crompton always evokes so beautifully.