Fiennders Keepers - Jean MarshMacmillan, 1996, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dustwrapper. Gently bruised at the head of the spine and top corners with commensurate ruffling to the dustwrapper. Tiny pen mark to the leading edge of the text block. Text complete, clean and tight.
From the cover: “At Fiennders Abbey, still and cool, summer after summer, a fire in every grate and richly draped in winter, the family had prospered for generations. Anne Fiennders was proud of her sons, especially Richard, her eldest, her table and the fine figure she knew she still cut. When she remembered to she even tolerated her daughter. Beyond the lawns were bosky woods — and some of her secrets.
Beyond the woods was Keepers Cottage, where milk-blonde Mary lived with her brother, sister and parents — father the Fiennders’ trusted gamekeeper, and mother who toiled a little too hard, whose joyless thrift and anxieties drew calm from the cottage as a chimney draws wood smoke.
In the village were the smithy, the school, the shop and the church. As the last century drew towards a close there was little to indicate that anything there, in the farms and fields, lanes and stables, could ever change. England was dreaming, its order perfected…
Richard and Mary, devoted friends as children, but estranged when their affection began to stir unease, belonged within that dream. Each harboured troubling ones of their own which — as years passed and generations of progress shifted every personal and natural landscape -are finally realized and resolved.
In Fiennders Keepers Jean Marsh has written an extraordinarily gripping novel of emotional and social change, in an apparently timeless rural community. Ideas of class and tradition furrow the actions of the people as surely as the plough furrowed the land: the harvest is one of tragic disappointment for some, and of triumphant bounty for others…”