I think that some of you Gothic lovers out there will love this one. I did not love this or even like it much. This took me ages to get through. It had so many characters and just a lot of information dumps here and there that didn't work for me. Also the main character, Favel (yes that's her name) was uber frustrating since she just tra la las during most of this book though she believes someone is out to kill her.
"Bride of Pendorric" is about a young woman who marries a random guy (Roc Pendorric) that shows up to her father's studio to buy some paintings. Favel and her father live somewhere off the coast of Italy getting by with him selling his art after the death of her mother.
The beginning of this book reminded me a bit of the beginning of "Rebecca". You don't really get why the main character is so obsessed with the man she comes to contact with (Roc in this case instead of Max de Winter). Roc is painted as a gambler, just like Favel's father, and so I was puzzled why she would even consent to marry this guy. He doesn't seem charming at all just tall and dark. This being a Gothic book though, Favel and Roc do marry and then her father mysteriously dies while swimming (after going off with Roc). Favel and Roc eventually return to England to live specifically in Cornwall, where Pendorric stands.
The subject of twins comes up a lot in this one. Roc is a twin, his sister Morwenna still lives at Pendorric with her husband Charles and their twin daughters Hyson and Lowella. And of course Roc's dead mother was a twin. We find out through other characters about Roc's father and what a philander he was (man cheated with everyone it seemed that lived nearby) and Favel starts to worry that the man she knew for like a month may be similar to his father. Good job caring about these things now. There are mysterious neighbors, relatives, a governess and a nurse. I can't say much about these characters besides to say that they were all just a bit too bland and underdeveloped. I still didn't like Roc through the majority of this book.
There are way too many twists in this book to even make sense of most of them. The flow was awful too.
I usually like the Cornwall setting, but besides hearing about the moor here and there, no place stood out. I think Holt hoped that Pendorric would be up there as much a famous house like Manderley or even Shirley Jackson's Hill House. It just didn't live up to that for me.
The ending gives you an information dump via a diary that just happened to be there for Favel to read and know all. I just laughed. Reminded me of Holt's "The Secret Woman" where all is revealed via a letter.