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The Potter's Niece by Rona Randall
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The Potter's Niece

by Rona Randall

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Set in rural 18th century England, this romantic novel chronicles the lives of two families related by marriage: the aristocratic Freemans and the bourgeois Draytons, who employ most of the local residents at their pottery. Charlotte Freeman (heritrix of Tremain Hall) must decide whether to leave her vast holdings to her granddaughter Olivia or to Olivia's cousin Lionel. Her decision becomes moot when Olivia withdraws from the running; a decidedly modern woman, she will pursue a career as a potter. Lionel is just starting to relish his role as heir when Max Freeman, Olivia's father who disappeared years earlier, returns with his illegitimate son Miguel, claiming Tremain Hall as his. Max's return prompts a murder and provides the solution to a crime committed years ago. Randall is adept at juggling the many characters and subplots but the novel has an element of unreality, seemingly more 20th than 18th century in its tone.
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