This story is an exciting period story, set in the late 1800s about a well-off family, there is Agnes & Ralph, two rather stoic parents, their son Clarence, and their daughter Isabella (Issy). Most of this is Issy relating the story, which I found heart-warming and one part in particular when she was remembering specific games they played as children, made me smile as I too had played the same games as a child.
It is a kind of coming-of-age tale, exceedingly well written, full of historical information with splendid attention to detail throughout the book.
Colorful characters, and the insight into the differences between well-off children and poor children, how the parents did not want their children mixing with each other. The children sneaking to meet each other to enjoy playing and having fun together. Rich kids tended to be snooty and aloof, so Izzy and her brother preferred to play with the poor kids, who were much more fun, more mischievous too.
The author has written an excellent book, with such finesse and attention to detail, which is very impressive.
In keeping with those times, Agnes and Ralph are very religious, and after the birth of both children, Agnes feels that her duty is done, and sex is off the menu. This, of course, leads to clandestine meetings between Ralph and one of his employees named Rose. Here we get a bit of romance thrown in but it does appear in other parts when the children's grandmother recounts her youth and her romantic liaisons.
Issy is a very kind, caring and giving person, she likes to help others, it's just her nature, where her brother Clarence is more inclined to look out for himself, he likes to be number 1.
The story has a lot of twists, turns, and surprises. It grips you from the start, those who love historical things will love this, but those who do not will not be put off the story as it is expertly placed within the story so much so that everything is believable and realistic. You almost feel transported back in time.