BOOK CLUB: The House of Brides

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[Total: 2 Average: 4.5]

Author: Jane Cockram
ISBN: 9781489296825
Copy courtesy of Harper Collins Australia

The House of Brides is a debut novel by Melbourne author Jane Cockram. It is a very mysterious and sometimes creepy gothic tale of an old house, suspicious housekeepers, disappearing women and motherless children all set in England. Miranda literally runs away from her home in Australia after a disastrous career as a social media influencer when it all goes wrong.

She feels at a loss as her mother died when she was quite young and her father has since re-married and has had two more children, so she feels lost. Her mother wrote a best-selling novel called The House of Brides, which has haunted her since she was old enough to read it. Miranda wants to find out more about her extended family after a mysterious letter arrives from a young girl who lives in Barnsley house.

Miranda flees to England with the intent of finding out what is going on and instead ends up being employed as a nanny to three children at Barnsley House. Whilst working under cover she meets a variety of people including her uncle and the 3 cousins, the creepy Mrs Mins and the mysterious aunt Elizabeth who lives on an island nearby.

When the children’s mother disappears one evening, the plot thickens, and everyone is not who they seem, they all have secrets are desperate to cover them up no matter what! This was a very impressive debut novel and had me thinking about the classic novel Rebecca as I was reading it.

There were quite a few interesting characters in it, but Miranda was the main protagonist. It was not the sort of novel I would have originally picked up, but I must say I enjoyed this very much, and it was refreshing to read something a little on the dark side.

Thank you so much to Harlequin and Beauty and Lace books for the copy of this book for review purposes.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading House of Brides. You can read their comments below, or contribute to the discussion by leaving your own feedback.

14 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The House of Brides

  1. The house of Bhrides by Jane Cockram
    Thankyou Beautyandlace Harlequinbooks and of course Jane Cockram
    This book tells the story of Miranda and her need to trace her family story through the past guided by a book written by her mother who had grown up at Barnsley House in England.
    Miranda’s life is a mess and mostly by Miranda’s actions. Having built a successful health on line business Miranda was exposed promising false cures, and her continued lying lost her the respect of the community and in the long run gained the frustration of her father who tried unsuccessfully to help her.
    Stealing from her father she runs to the place of her mothers childhood home and posing as a nanny is employed, by her unsuspecting uncle, to look after his three children while their mother is unwell.
    Miranda is determined to uncover the mystery that surrounds this house and the lives of the Brides who have lived here .Hampered by the ever present Mrs Minns and the disappearance of Daphne ,the children’s mother while still keeping her identity a secret life becomes hard and at times dangerous.
    Really enjoyed this book and will definitely look for her next book.

  2. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin I was lucky enough to be chosen to review the debut novel of Jane Cockram, “The House of Brides”.

    A story of Miranda, who lost her mother at a young age. She is living with her father, step mother and half siblings. Life has not been in favour for Miranda and her father has tried to get her on the right path. Miranda’s mother, Tessa, was the famous author of the book “The House of Brides”, a story based around the facts and secretive stories of the brides of Barnsley House.

    Miranda always wondered about her mother’s life at Barnsley House and when she finds a letter hidden in her father’s office from her cousin Sophia,addressed to her mother, asking for help, it triggers Miranda to do something about it.

    Miranda finds it in her to go to Barnsley House and find out what it is that Sophia needs helps with. Without telling her father, she leaves to the other side of the country, turning up at Barnsley acting as the new nanny.

    It doesn’t take long for Miranda to find her way around Barnsley and start to uncover some secrets, it also doesn’t take long for people to start to suspect her either. Mrs Mins, who has been around forever, does not let Miranda get away with anything, and watches her every move.

    It did take me a while to get into the story but once I did get into it, I didn’t want to put it down as I needed to find out the real story behind Barnsley House and that of Daphne’s disappearance. It is a book I would recommend but you need to really take in all the character names, who they are and who they are connected to. Once you can do that I think it is easier to understand and flow.

  3. The House of Brides by Jane Cockram

    The House of Brides is about a 20 something year old woman called Miranda. Miranda has had career crises when advice she gives on her social media app regarding fertility goes very wrong, she has no actual knowledge regarding this topic and is attacked by many trolls and social media users. She has returned home to live with her father and stepmother and is at a loss about her future.

    Miranda’s mother, Tessa Summer, was a famous author who wrote the book The House Of Brides, set in Barnsley House in England which was the Family home. Tessa dies when Miranda was a child and all she knows is that her mother left Barnsley House never to return. When a letter arrives from England addressed to her mother from Miranda’s cousin asking for help, Miranda takes this opportunity to go to England and start a new life.

    I found the character of Miranda to be quite self-absorbing, she is a compulsive liar, employed as a nanny, and doesn’t tell anyone who she is for most of the book. There a quite a few characters in the book and they all seem to have their own agenda.

    I can’t say I loved the book but then I can’t say that I didn’t like it either. I feel that it will appeal to a lot of readers so yes give it a go. I give it three and a half stars.

    Thank you to Beautyandlace and Harlequin books

  4. After a great recommendation from Sally Hepworth I was excited to read this book. However I am left undecided about it.

    I enjoyed the setting, the cold blustery England weather fitted perfectly with the gloomy old mansion. The dark strange small town occupants and then there was Miranda. I think this is the part that I didnt get or enjoy, sadly as she is the main character! Im not sure what it was, she seems too immature and selfish and somehow fitting a social media influencer into that gothic type settings just didnt work for me.

    Dont get me wrong I did enjoy it but it just felt a little disjointed for me. I do look forward though to reading more from Jane Cockram, I think she will improve, the bones are there for a fantastic novel but for me it just didnt quite hit the mark.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the chance to read and review this book.

  5. An English drama with a gothic feel and creepy story. Miranda is a young social influencer still finding her way in life and making mistakes along the way. As her career takes a downward turn she decides to go to England and to look into her mother’s mysterious background. However on arrival she decides to act as a nanny while she looks to uncover the secrets of her mother’s past. What follows is Miranda’s path to uncovering the family secrets and lies.

    The setting in this novel is well thought out with a haunting plot and characters. However I felt Miranda was a bit out of place, or maybe I just didn’t connect with her, I felt some more depth to parts of the story would be good and given the length of the novel the end felt abrupt. This is a good first novel and I would happily read Jane Cockram’s next novel.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the chance to read and review this book.

  6. The House of Brides by Jane Cockram was an interesting and creepy English drama set in a historical manor house, passed down through the generations of Miranda, the main character’s, family.
    When Miranda, turns up, unrecognised, to discover the secrets of her mothers estranged family, strange things begin to happen, leaving Miranda not knowing who she can trust.

    I loved the setting and the story-line of this intriguing novel. However, I felt parts were missing, as though the character was perceiving things that the reader did not see at all. Some parts of the story were brushed over and needed more information and still other areas I found were not relevant or unnecessary to the story.

    Overall, the idea for the story was intriguing, though, I felt it was not executed to its fullest potential.
    Thank you Beauty & Lace and Harlequin for the chance to read and review this book.

  7. Thanks for the opportunity to read the House of the Brides by Jane Cockram.

    The story explores the complicated theme of family and the impact of the loss of a parent.

    Miranda is at a critical juncture in her life after a poor choice in her career as a social media influencer sees her reputation in tatters. A family history of strong female Summer ‘brides’ has given her the need to be extraordinary. Instead of taking the job her Dad has arranged she decides to seek out the long absent family of her deceased mother at the famous Barnsley House. Continuing the trend of deceit Miranda does not disclose her relationship but is instead hired as a nanny to the three children.

    The house and family are full of mysteries which Miranda feels compelled to explore. There are mysterious accidents, disappearances and affairs many of which leave the reader guessing at the next twist and turn.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was hooked until the last page. There were some relationships that seemed to warrant additional detail but overall a great read which I would recommend.

  8. I absolutely LOVED this book! Loved how it was written, the characters, storyline and cover. On one women’s journey to discover her mother and lost family, she finds herself and a place to call home.
    Jane wrote through the eyes of Miranda , voicing her thoughts so we knew exactly what she was thinking, her rationale behind that thinking , her disappointments and her feelings even tho I did not agree with it most times! Miranda was quite in her own world and did not see what affect her decisions had on others around her. BY the end I believe she grew up and matured enough to stand on her own two feet.
    Some of the characters were a bit kooky but that just added to the allure of the place she ended up, Barnsley House. Jane conjured up the perfect English countryside with Manor and past women who all seemed to have an influence on the current women of the house in one way or another.

    Would recommend for a weekend read!

  9. House Of Brides was a total surprise for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole story.
    Set in Australia at the beginning, we hear about Miranda, who has lost her mother and living with her distant father and stepmother and two younger sisters. She is a bit of a lost soul and has made some terrible mistakes on social media, that continue to haunt her.
    She finds a letter that was addressed to her mother from her cousin, that lives in England, where her mother was born and raised. There is so much mystery surrounding her mothers life and Miranda wants answers. She finds it very appealing to go to Barnsley, where her mother wrote the book, the house of brides.
    This gives Miranda the perfect opportunity to escape her miserable life and find the answers that she requires.
    Miranda turns up on the doorstep to her mothers childhood home and is thought to be the new nanny, so she runs with that. The story unravels with many generations included in the plot.
    This is one book that I could not put down, as I was eager to see what happened next.

  10. This story follows Miranda, who after a failed job decides to leave Sydney and pose as a nanny at the late mothers English manor house- she has been estranged from her mothers side of the family.
    Upon arriving Miranda discovers there is more to the Manor and the people that live there then meets the eye. She starts to uncover secrets from the past and secrets hiding in the present. This was a great read if you enjoy a gothic type genre, a great debut!

  11. Firstly thank you Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the opportunity to read and review this book.

    The book follows Miranda who makes a poor choice on social media which loses her her job. Miranda decides to go back to England and poses as a Nanny to find out more information about her late mothers English Manor house. There are many hidden secrets that and twists and turns that begin to unfold from there.

    I would describe this text as a gothic style thriller and I will be keen to read more by Jane Cockram in the future.

    Then ending is not predictable and I struggled to put the book down, a great read!

  12. The House of Brides by Jane Cockram is about Miranda a social media influencer.
    Her mother (who died when she was young) had written a novel ‘The House of Brides’ and she receives a mysterious letter from an extended family member in England from where her mother grew up. When things go wrong with her job, due to her own actions she leaves Australia to escape and goes to England in an attempt to find out more about her family while keeping her identity secret.
    The book is full of secrets and mystery and I enjoyed reading it. A great debut novel.

    Thank you Harlequin and Beauty and Lace for the book!

  13. Thank you Harlequin and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity of reading this novel, The House of Brides by Jane Cockram.

    The story follows Miranda, a failed social media influencer who lses her job. As tensions surface between herself and her Dad she up sticks and runs off to England and uncovers a trove of family secrets.

    I loved the tone of this novel, the gothic atmosphere and setting. I believe this isn’t however a Thriller as labelled, but had suspenseful elements. A bit of slow burn but it is engaging. Despite finding the ending a little anticlimactic, it was still an enjoyable read. Perfect for wyling away a weekend.

  14. Thank you for the opportunity to review The House Of Brides.
    The majority of the story takes place in England, where the main character Miranda flees to after losing her job as a social media influencer.
    After receiving a letter from a distant cousin in England, Miranda heads there to try and uncover a whole lot of secrets that her family have kept hidden. She takes on the role of nanny, and slowly pieces together the history of her family. This is a fairly interesting story but not sure if I would recommend it.

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