An Atmospheric Tale Filled with Unexpected Twists and Turns: Read a Review of The House of Brides by Jane Cockram

An Atmospheric Tale Filled with Unexpected Twists and Turns: Read a Review of The House of Brides by Jane Cockram

Occasionally a book comes along and you just know that you’re not just looking at a novel that screams summer bestseller, but also at an author who is headed for the top of the auto-read list.

Jane Cockram was bound to write a novel at some stage. She studied Journalism, majoring in Literature, and then Publishing and Communication before working in the book industry. House of Brides is a polished debut, a page-turning tale of psychological suspense in which a young woman whose life is in tatters flees to the safety of a family estate in England, but instead of comfort finds chilling secrets and lies.

Miranda has had a rough few years. Her successful career as a social media influencer has come crashing down after the controversial flop of her fertility app. Humiliated and to escape the trolls, she moves reluctantly back home to her judgemental father, and cold stepmother’s house. Her father has scored a job for her, and it’s clear that she’s expected to settle down now. But more than ever, she feels the loss of her mother.

Miranda’s mother, well-known author Tessa Summer, died when Miranda was young, leaving behind her bestselling book The House of Brides – a book that chronicled the generations of brides, each more notorious and tragic than the last, who married into the infamous Summer family and became mistress of the beautiful Barnsley House in England. Miranda does not know her mother’s family, so when a mysterious letter arrives from a young Summer cousin, asking for her help, Miranda’s curiosity about the legendary family (and desire to escape her current situation) prompts her to sneak off to England.

After a case of mistaken identity, Miranda ends up being hired as the nanny, living in the heart of the family, who are actually distant relatives, at Barnsley House. Nothing is as she expects. The luxury hotel and world-renowned restaurant created by the most recent ‘bride’, the lovely and effervescent Daphne, is gone. So is Daphne. More disturbing, one of the children is in a wheelchair after a mysterious accident and the sinister housekeeper Mrs Mins seems to have a dark influence over the master of the house.

What happened in this house? Where is Daphne? Will Miranda discover what darkness lies hidden at the heart of this house of brides? And if she does, will she survive it?

Cockram does a great job of creating a sense of place, from the coast of England’s West Country to the imposing Barnsley House. This atmospheric tale is a who-dun-it filled with unexpected twists and turns, while also being the journey of one woman on a quest to find out more about her mother and her own roots. It’s a gothic tale with a modern twist, with Miranda’s social media background, as well as a being a fresh take on Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

It’s hard to predict the ending of House of Brides. It’s even harder to put the book down. An excellent start to what I believe will be a long writing career.

Buy a copy of The House of Brides here.

About the author:

Jane Cockram was born and educated in Australia, where she studied Journalism at RMIT, majoring in Literature. After earning a post-graduate diploma in Publishing and Communication at Melbourne University, she worked in sales for Pan Macmillan Publishers and then as fiction buyer at Borders, fulfilling a childhood dream of reading for a living. Cockram spent a year living in the West Country of England, where The House of Brides is set, and still daydreams about returning.  In the meantime, she resides in Melbourne with her husband and two children. The House of Brides is her debut novel.

 

Reviews

A Polished Debut: Read an Extract From The House of Brides by Jane Cockram

Review | Extract

19 November 2019

A Polished Debut: Read an Extract From The House of Brides by Jane Cockram

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          Publisher details

          The House of Brides
          Author
          Jane Cockram
          Publisher
          HarperCollins
          Genre
          Fiction
          Released
          22 October, 2019

          Synopsis

          Jane Cockram makes her thrilling debut with this page-turning tale of psychological suspense in which a young woman whose life is in tatters flees to the safety of a family estate in England, but instead of comfort finds chilling secrets and lies.Miranda’s life and career has been a roller-coaster ride. Her successful rise to the top of the booming lifestyle industry as a social media influencer led to a humiliating fall after a controversial product she endorsed flopped. Desperate to get away from the hate-spewing trolls shaming her on the internet, she receives a mysterious letter from a young cousin in England that plunges her into a dark family mystery.Miranda’s mother Tessa Summers, a famous author, died when Miranda was a child. The young woman’s only connection to the Summers family is through Tessa’s famous book The House of Brides—a chronicle of the generations of women who married into the infamous Summers family and made their home in the rambling Barnsley House, the family’s estate. From Gertrude Summers, a famed crime novelist, to Miranda’s grandmother Beatrice, who killed herself after setting fire to Barnsley while her children slept, each woman in The House of Brides is more notorious than the next. The house’s current “bride” is the beautiful, effervescent Daphne, her Uncle Max’s wife—a famed celebrity chef who saved Barnsley from ruin turning the estate into an exclusive culinary destination and hotel.Curious about this legendary family she has never met, Miranda arrives at Barnsley posing as a prospective nanny answering an advertisement. She’s greeted by the compelling yet cold housekeeper Mrs. Mins, and meets the children and her Uncle Max—none of whom know her true identity. But Barnsley is not what Miranda expected. The luxury destination and award-winning restaurant is gone, and Daphne is nowhere to be found. Most disturbing, one of the children is in a wheelchair after a mysterious accident. What happened in this house? Where is Daphne? What darkness lies hidden in Barnsley?
          Jane Cockram
          About the author

          Jane Cockram

          Jane Cockram was born and educated in Australia, where she studied Journalism at RMIT, majoring in Literature. After earning a post-graduate diploma in Publishing and Communication at Melbourne University, she worked in sales for Pan Macmillan Publishers and then as fiction buyer at Borders, fulfilling a childhood dream of reading for a living. Cockram spent a year living in the West Country of England, where The House of Brides is set, and still daydreams about returning.  In the meantime, she resides in Melbourne with her husband and two children. The House of Brides is her debut novel.

          Books by Jane Cockram

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