Caroline Lattimore in “The Manor on the Moors” wasn’t meant to be a heroine at all; she was meant to be an antagonist! Where Alice was meant to be sweet-natured, obliging and kind Caroline was to be her complete opposite. And in fact she still is. If there is a situation to be handled with kid gloves, Alice will stroke the problem gently and ask it nicely to go away, but Caroline will barge in there with her steel toe-capped boots on and kick it. Caroline will not allow anyone to help her and spends most of her scenes with an ironic eyebrow or two raised in comment – but I loved writing about her. She sprang off the page, kicking and screaming where Alice sometimes had to be coaxed to do anything at all.
It was incredibly difficult to find a picture to sum Caroline up. For a start, she’s in her fifties, and women in their fifties are not easy to find on Pixabay – but that’s a whole different post to write one day. She has distinctive short white hair – when most of the women of Pixabay have flowing blonde or brunette tresses. The best I could do was an image that seemed to sum up Caroline’s attitude to life – a slightly awkward-looking woman in a sensible coat.
Caroline is the daughter of the owner of Misterley Manor and she’s in charge of the grand stately home. But she finds her job increasingly a struggle: she’s spent “… the last few, lonely years … locked away here at Misterley Manor fighting the rising tide of debt, decay and disorder.” For a start her family are no help. A stubborn elderly father, an eccentric aunt, a daughter who spends most of the novel chasing one of the builders, and then there’s her ex-husband Duncan. “That Man”, as she refers to him, just won’t keep his nose out of her affairs. But Caroline just puts her head down and gets on with life, upholding the Lattimore family motto “Pride and Strength”.
The big question is, how long can Caroline’s “Pride and Strength” keep her going?