16th Century England.
When Elaine and Thomas Fisher wed, it is a true love match.
A woodworker by trade, he and Elaine leave their home in northern England and head south, where Thomas plans to get commissions working in the fine houses in the area.
But things don’t go as planned…
Thomas is forced to sell his tools to feed his pregnant wife.
When he stops at a pub for a drink, a man is killed, and those who witness it swear it was Thomas. He hangs for a crime he did not commit.
Elaine, now known as the murderer’s widow, is alone, with her infant son Samuel to care for. She learns that Sir Richard Belvoir, the master of the fine house Cymberie is dying.
When his doctor says the only thing that will save him is a mother’s tender care, the job is forced on Elaine by Mistress Margery, who helped her after Samuel was born and now demands to be paid for her efforts.
Wanting only to pay her debts and flee, she takes the job. While most at the grand house treat her poorly, and the villagers shun her, the cook Nathaniel feeds her well, and her strength returns, as does Sir Richard’s.
He begins to teach her to read and write, and she finds herself caring for the old man, even though he is the one who ordered Thomas to die.
Elaine knows her job at Cymberie won’t last forever, so when the Puritan candle maker Walter Vernon asks her to marry him, she has a decision to make.
She needs to put a roof over her and Samuel’s head.
But she does not care for Walter, who is also carrying a secret about her husband’s death, a secret he thinks marrying Elaine will make right.
The Girl in the Great House is a gripping historical story, full of emotional turmoil, mystery and the struggle to stay struggle to stay true to ones’ self.
Praise for Maggie Freeman
‘A marvellous read.’ – Robert Foster, best-selling author of The Lunar Code
The Odyssey Press is a literary imprint of Endeavour Press – the UK’s leading independent digital publisher. We publish new and classic literary fiction, literary biographies and works with literary tropes and themes.