About the Book
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Perspective: 3rd person limited, dual-POV
Publication Date: March 26, 2021
Format: Netgalley eARC
Length: 347 pages
September, 1939. The moon shines silver on the looming yew trees. Thinking of her fiancé, fighting for his life and country in the war, breaks Eleanor’s heart, but also gives her courage. She takes a deep breath, picks up her camera, and follows the dancing lights into the maze.
Present day. With her little brother Missing in Action, gardener Megan Taylor runs from her grief to take a job at Foxfield Hall – a centuries-old place full of myths and folklore – restoring the wild maze in the overgrown gardens. Throwing herself into shaping the tangled ivy, Megan soon becomes drawn into the mystery of Lady Eleanor Fairfax, the Hall’s most famous resident… the villagers say she disappeared without trace at the Harvest Festival in 1939, leaving behind a grieving father and a heartbroken fiancé.
Leafing through delicate old newspaper cuttings and gazing at an ornately framed portrait of the missing woman, Megan is full of questions. Although no body was ever found, could Eleanor have been murdered? Did she run away, unwilling to marry the man who loved her? Or, with her father working at the War Office, did Eleanor stumble upon a secret she shouldn’t have?
Then, one night under a full moon, a mesmerising light inexplicably draws her to the entrance of the maze. Megan is filled with a strange certainty that, if she follows it into the shadows, it will lead to the truth about Eleanor… but could Megan herself be the next occupant of Foxfield Hall to be lost forever?
A spellbinding, magical and addictive tale about the mysterious and ancient legends at the heart of the English countryside, and how to find those who are lost.
About the Author
Jessica Thorne watched far too much sci-fi and read far too much fantasy at an impressionable age. And it was awesome. She writes fantasy and sci-fi romance with a steampunk edge and just refuses to face reality.
As Ruth Frances Long she writes young adult fantasy, and as R. F. Long she writes fantasy and paranormal romance.
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Rating: 5/5 stars
I loved this book 💕. I requested an ARC in an attempt to expand my reading list into other genres, and I found that the historical/fantasy combo was just what I needed. It included familiar fantastical elements I love, all with a historical twist. Magic, witches, and ghosts? Local legends and folklore? A sapphic twist on Arthur and Guinevere? This book has it all.
The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall alternates between two POVs of women who reside there – Ellie in 1939, and Megan in 2019. Both have ties to war and loss and are struggling with recent changes in their lives. Shortly after starting her new job at the manor, Megan follows the mysterious green lights in the garden and finds herself transported back to 1939, where she becomes friends with Ellie. As the women get to know one another, they decide they must solve the mystery of Ellie’s disappearance before that fateful day comes to pass again. All of it seems tied to local legends surrounding the house’s connection to Arthurian legend and three witches of old.
Megan and Ellie both had distinct POVs with unique internal conflicts and lovable personalities. Their friendship and the subsequent effects they had on each other’s lives was heartwarming and at times more emotional than either of their romantic subplots. Their romances, however, were equally as easy to root for, from Ellie’s fighter pilot fiance David to Megan’s crush on Nora, one of the hall’s trustees with family ties to the property.
I loved the magic and folklore surrounding Foxfield Hall and how it ultimately wove the characters and legend together. As you read, you unravel the secrets behind the magic alongside the characters that gave the story, on top of everything else it successfully delivers, a delightful mystery vibe. By the end I could not put the book down because I had to see how it ended and whether my predictions were correct!
If you’re looking for a unique story that successfully combines elements of other genres and will leave you with a happy heart and smiling face, look no further than The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall. It definitely will be a book I return to again and again, and I can’t wait to see what else Jessica Thorne has in store!
Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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