The Memoirs of Nora Basset of Umberleigh
Young Nora Basset has no memory of her father, John, as he died when she was very young. Her first years are spent at Umberleigh in Devon with her family. When she is three years old, she meets her grandmother, Honora Lisle, who has returned from imprisonment in Calais and has been tragically widowed. Nora and her grandmother form a close bond, as the child unwittingly assists the older woman to come to terms with her loss. The following year, Nora’s mother, Frances Plantagenet, remarries. Her new husband is Thomas Monk of Potheridge and the family leaves Umberleigh to begin their new life.
Nora spends a mostly happy childhood at Potheridge until she is called away at the age of eighteen to become a companion for her grandmother who has once again been visited by sadness. The bond between the two women becomes stronger than ever.
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When she is twenty-seven Nora meets William Whiddon, the love of her life. They marry and the next years are blissful ones for the two soulmates.
When tragedy strikes, Nora must find a way to move forward in her life. The story is set against the backdrop of life in Elizabethan England and the continuing saga of the Basset family.
Books by Joanne McShane...
Honora and Arthur - the Last Plantagenets
Bill Clewer: Truely, Joanne McShane is a great writer. Can't wait to start Lillias.
It was William's forethought to make his will, giving Nora the means to have the life "she" wanted. The book flows, and it is as if the writer is telling the book in your head. I usually read a chapter and put the book down. Mistress Whiddon was the first time that I could not put it down, because I wanted to know what was in the next chapter.
5 out of 5 stars A marvellous read
Reviewed in Australia on 3 December 2020
What a marvellous read. It is amazing how much it speaks to the woman of today. Many of the same prejudices are still found in many areas of today’s many societies. Accepting that Nora was wealthy, educated and privileged she still showed great forthrightness in demanding a life of her own choosing. Indeed she was most fortunate to be born in the Elizabethan era of change which allowed such women able to thrive.
Mistress Whiddon is a book that will nourish the positivity, creativity and self confidence to be one’s own person in the many challenges our daily life presents us.