Over the next week I’d like to introduce you to some of the main characters in “The Manor on the Moors” and what you might expect from them … and we start with Alice Goudge.
Alice? Alice? Who the heck is Alice? I hear you ask. Well, that’s not quite what I hear you ask, but I’m not writing that on my blog!
Alice is the most straightforward of romantic heroines, the girl who begins the novel suspecting that she is with the wrong man.
Alice is a young PhD student who has arrived at Misterley Manor to study the mysterious disappearance of architect Gilbert Fox-Travers a hundred years ago. Her goal is straightforward – she wants to be the one to solve the mystery, with all the academic glory that it might bring her. However, Sebastian, her boyfriend, has other ideas. He doesn’t like her going off to work in Yorkshire and leaving her home in London. Sebastian needs Alice. But Alice is no longer sure whether Sebastian is quite what she needs; he’s changed since they met as undergraduates several years ago. And then she meets Tom, the handsome but slightly reticent assistant gardener, and everything gets very complicated for poor old Alice …
Alice isn’t beautiful and she knows it. “All through her life people had told her that she “looked just like an Alice!” with her thick blonde hair and blue eyes, but the hair and eyes were all that fitted with the picture-book-pretty idea of an Alice. Her face was too square, and her jaw was too strong for an Alice, her shoulders were too broad, and her teeth were too prominent.” But Alice is clever and Alice is kind. She might lack confidence at times, and she is still coming to terms with who she is and what she wants from life.
So Alice has several problems to solve during the novel: Where does she belong? Who belongs there with her? Can she trust herself to choose the right thing? And what the heck really did happen to Gilbert Fox-Travers?
I’ll give you a clue – of everybody in the novel, you can probably trust Alice to do the right thing when the chips are down.