Wednesday, January 11, 2023



I loved The Girl From Summerhayes by Merryn Allingham from the second I flipped open the cover.  I was taken by what seemed to be an immediate connection to the family.  The Summer family lives in an enormous estate in the beautiful Sussex countryside.  With views of the sea and rolling hills as far as the eye can see, I saw the beauty of the land in my mind’s eye.  Elizabeth Summer is just nineteen years old and with the war gearing up in Europe, her beautiful estate is being threatened.  She has an enormous decision to make, does she stay true to her family home or to her country?  Elizabeth’s father believes that if she marries a well-to-do gentleman, then it would save the estate.  Elizabeth is saddened by the thought of what her future holds in marrying someone she doesn’t love.  Elizabeth soon meets Aiden Kellaway, a landscape architect hired to work on the beautiful estates gardens.  As the world around her begins to change drastically, she is forced to make some life changing decisions that will affect her home, her family and her future.

This story had me flying through the pages and I was reading faster and faster, desperate to get to the end.  This story surpassed my expectations and I absolutely loved it.  The author, Merryn Allingham, did a fantastic job pulling me into the story and keeping my attention throughout.   I enjoyed it very much and I highly recommend it.

Rating: 5 out of


Author:  Merryn Allingham
Published by: Bookouture 
Publication Date: January 11, 2023
Pages: 366 
Buy on Amazon

1914, England. Will her decision unite her family or tear them apart?

Surrounded by beautiful gardens in the glorious Sussex countryside, 
Summerhayes House seems like a true hidden paradise, but behind its polished floors and perfect green lawns is a family divided. The Summer family’s beloved home is under threat, and nineteen-year-old Elizabeth Summer finds herself caught in the heart of the crisis.

Elizabeth’s father believes his daughter marrying well will save Summerhayes. But Elizabeth is distraught at the stifling future ahead of her. A chance meeting with green-eyed 
Aiden Kellaway, the handsome architect’s apprentice working on the estate’s prized gardens, changes everything. For the first time, Elizabeth pictures an entirely different life, and – despite her father’s wishes – she is determined to take hold of it.

But war is brewing in Europe, and when its long shadow touches Summerhayes, Elizabeth realises her rebellion will come at a price. Desperately torn between family loyalty, society’s expectations and the bright chance at happiness she glimpsed in Aiden’s arms, she is forced to make an impossible choice.

As Elizabeth’s future – and her family’s – hangs in the balance, she must ask herself, 
is the price worth paying? And can she live with the consequences?


Merryn taught university literature for many years, and it took a while to pluck up the courage to begin writing herself. Bringing the past to life is a passion and her historical fiction includes Regency romances, wartime sagas and timeslip novels, all of which have a mystery at their heart. As the books have grown darker, it was only a matter of time before she plunged into crime with a cosy crime series set in rural Sussex against the fascinating backdrop of the 1950s.

Merryn lives in a beautiful old town in Sussex with her husband. When she’s not writing, she tries to keep fit with adult ballet classes and plenty of walking.

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