Review: House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild


Release date: February 11, 2020

Publisher: Knopf

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


For more than seven hundred years, the vast, rambling Trelawney Castle in Cornwall–turrets, follies, a room for every day of the year, four miles of corridors and 500,000 acres–was the magnificent and grand “three dimensional calling card” of the earls of Trelawney. By 2008, it is in a complete state of ruin due to the dulled ambition and the financial ineptitude of the twenty-four earls, two world wars, the Wall Street crash, and inheritance taxes. Still: the heir to all of it, Kitto, his wife, Jane, their three children, their dog, Kitto’s ancient parents, and his aunt Tuffy Scott, an entomologist who studies fleas, all manage to live there and keep it going. Four women dominate the story: Jane; Kitto’s sister, Blaze, who left Trelawney and made a killing in finance in London, the wildly beautiful, seductive, and long-ago banished Anastasia and her daughter, Ayesha. When Anastasia sends a letter announcing that her nineteen-year-old daughter, Ayesha, will be coming to stay, the long-estranged Blaze and Jane must band together to take charge of their new visitor–and save the house of Trelawney. But both Blaze and Jane are about to discover that the house itself is really only a very small part of what keeps the family together.


This isn’t my typical kind of read but there was something so intriguing to me about an aristocratic, dysfunctional family that I decided to take a chance on it. I’m really glad that I did because I found this one to be witty, quirky and entertaining. Sometimes it’s nice to step outside my comfort zone a little and that’s one of my personal reading goals for the year.

This one was really character driven, it focused on the family dynamics and the eccentricities of each family member and they were an odd bunch. It was a little over the top, very satirical and even a little theatrical at times, but I liked that aspect especially since the plot itself almost seemed secondary to the cast of characters as well as the House of Trewlaney. The house was a character all on its own, there was SO much history, and if I’m honest maybe a tiny bit too much for me, but overall I did enjoy this one and the author is a very talented writer.

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

4 thoughts on “Review: House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild

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