A recent graduate from the renowned Norland Nurse program, Ruby May might be new to the role of governess, but she knows when a family dynamic is normal or not, mostly due to her own unusual upbringing. When she is hired by the wealthy England family to care for their four children, she is unsurprised that their manor home in a remote Yorkshire town feels so isolated compared to her last appointment in London. The differences from her previous happy workplace to her new position, unfortunately, don’t stop there. The longer Nurse May stays at the England’s Hardcastle House, it becomes clear there’s something not quite right going on in its halls. Not only does Mrs. Lillian England keep strange hours, she seems to ignore her children and mostly stays hidden in her room for hours at a time. Unusually, it is her husband, mill owner Charles who appears to run the household and who warns the new governess not to leave Lillian alone with the children. Is Lillian truly to be feared, and why? What’s really going on in Mrs. England’s house and what is Nurse May willing to put up with to keep her own secrets hidden?
Simmering with slow-burning suspense, Mrs. England by Stacey Halls is a gothic mystery set in 1904, against the atmospheric landscape of West Yorkshire. This compelling and descriptive slow-burn of a novel transports its readers to a different time and place, where danger lurks around every corner, and it is the perfect read for fans of Jane Eyre, Rebecca and Downton Abbey.