Reviewed by Sophie Hedley
1731: When his youngest son is killed in a tragic accident, Sir William Keyt, master of Norton House, buries himself in his fortune. He builds a second vast mansion on his grounds, squandering money he does not have on luxury his family does not want.
Keyt has long been blind to the desires of others. His eldest son has fallen in love with their young maidservant, Molly Johnson, a ray of light in a household dimmed by tragedy. Keyt wants Molly for himself and, driven mad with lust and jealousy, he will do anything to have her...
Burnt Norton was based on a true story and knowing that the intriguing setting in this book was real made it all the more appealing to me. Whilst some historical novels have tendencies to lose the fiction and recap on the past instead, this book went in the opposite way as the author wrote a fast, dramatic and highly entertaining story.
This novel seemed to dive off in two directions as parts of it were quite light-hearted yet others
dealt with the more serious issues seen in those times such as how women were treat. At times I felt this became a little messy and didn’t need to be rushed. If Burnt Norton had have been extended in length a little bit, it could have added more depth to the story without losing the drama and entertainment.
Captivating is the best way for me to describe Burnt Norton. I was picturing this as a historical TV drama as I think the characters would be fitting for TV. Keyt was over-the-top and cruel whereas Molly I found quite easy to emphasise with. Intense, full of life characters were brilliant to read in Burnt Norton and this book was never dull.
Whilst I know very little about the real story behind this book, I am left wondering how accurate this book is because it felt a little far-fetched. But if you’re looking for a fascinating, dramatic novel then I don’t think you could go too wrong with Burnt Norton. Vivid and fast-paced, this book is a quick read, packed with twists and intrigue and great entertainment.
I'd like to thank Becke and Head of Zeus for sending me a copy of this book and Sophie from Reviewed the Book for reviewing it for me.