While doing research for a Tidal Life post about a winter getaway in Provincetown, Massachusetts, I ran across a book I must read, Montacute House, by Lucy Jago. The connection between trendy Ptown and a stately home in southern England exists in my mind alone. To read more about how I brought the two together you’ll have to visit Tidal Life.
Anyway, as soon as I watched Lucy’s video about the book I knew I had to read it and immediately began my search for a copy. Unfortunately it’s not available in my libraries, not on Audible and not on Amazon.com. So far it’s only available in the UK. I guess I’ll be ordering it for my Kindle.
My attraction to this book is two-fold. First, I’m currently writing a story about a girl of the same age as the heroine – I think it may be a young adult novel, though can’t be sure quite yet. Consequently, I’m reading books in that category. Second, I visited the town of Montacute, Saint Michael’s Hill and Montacute House one year ago.
The area has lived in my imagination ever since. I’m not at all surprised to find that another writer has built a story around it.
Montacute House from atop Saint Michael’s Hill. I hiked up the hill during my early morning run. I’ve got pictures of it somewhere … Watching Lucy climb it was like being there again.
The town of Montacute and surrounding plains from the tower atop Saint Michael’s Hill, site of Montacute Castle. I’m told you can see Glastonbury Tor from here on a clearer day.
A view up the side of the tower. The tower, and legendary underground passages to it, figure in the novel. When I was there I hadn’t heard about the legends, but couldn’t help seeing hiding places and secret passages in the stones.
If you’re driving across southern England, I heartily recommend a stop in Montacute. In addition to Montacute House, the splendid hill and tower, there’s also a beautiful church, with intriguing church yard and an assortment of charming stone cottages.
Stay at The King’s Arms. They serve wonderful food. Be sure to bring a book steeped in atmosphere, maybe Montacute House.