Miss Annabel Ashton has come to the family home for a visit, taking a respite from her teaching job at a school for young ladies in Winchester. She assumes it is only for a short visit, but finds to her dismay that she may not return. Her cousin, Edward Everedge is brokering a deal for her marriage to one of his creditors in return for forgiveness of the debt. It does not matter that Annabel loathes the man. She is virtually a captive in the home, not allowed to go about without a chaperone, usually her sister-in-law. During an outing she meets Captain Marco Dell’Acqua from Malta. She feels an affinity for him because her mother met her father in Malta, although she does not know who that is. Annabel presumably was birthed out of wedlock and as such does not inherit anything from the family. She questions this, however, and spends as much time as possible trying to find out who her father was. Jewelry, portraits, and clothing mysteriously appear in her bedroom and other rooms, only to disappear again. Her mother died in an insane asylum and Annabel fears that she has inherited the same affliction and will end up like her mother. Something else is afoot in this house and the ending will totally surprise you. You will enjoy this novel of 1850 England.
I thank Howard Books for allowing me to read a free print copy of this book, “Bride of a Distant Isle” by Sandra Byrd, in return for my honest review.