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Bride of Pendorric by Victoria Holt

Bride of Pendorric (original 1963; edition 2009)

by Victoria Holt

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405726,316 (3.51)17
Title:Bride of Pendorric
Authors:Victoria Holt
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2009), Edition: 1 Original, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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Bride of Pendorric by Victoria Holt (1963)

  1. 20
    Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt (nu-bibliophile)
  2. 00
    The King of the Castle by Victoria Holt (nu-bibliophile)
  3. 00
    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (kraaivrouw, nu-bibliophile)
    nu-bibliophile: Very similar but the twist in Bride of Pendorric is better and more surprising.

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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I presumed this tale would be set in the 1800s, thus it came as a surprise when realising it was set around the time of the book's publication. Even so, it didn't "feel" like the early 1960s, but more like a few decades earlier, despite certain references that clarified the story to be contemporary.

As for the story, it reminded me of several other Victoria Holt novels, including the usual long suspenseful build-up to a climax that was over too soon.

I often feel that this author doesn't squeeze the full potential out of dramatic/exciting/frightening scenarios. She's great at building suspense, creating mystery, but tends to resolve her heroine's most trying moments too quickly and too easily, as I feel she's done here.

The characters are all well-drawn, especially the twelve-year-old twins.

Overall, a good read with potential to have been much better. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Mar 18, 2016 |
I love love love Victoria Holt ! This book was awesome. The story was great. If you enjoyed Rebecca by Daphe Du Maurier, you'll love this book. The twist in this story was huge, surprising, and unexpected. I didn't see it coming and I would've never guessed that it would be like that. This was a great book with incredible mysteries, suspense, and twist. Read it you'll enjoy it. ( )
1 vote nu-bibliophile | Jul 29, 2011 |
Victoria Holt was an incredibly prolific writer, writing under several pseudonyms - most prominently Victoria Holt, Jean Plaidy, and Philippa Carr. Victoria Holt was her pseudonym for writing Gothic romance and these books are wonderful and old-fashioned and fun to read. I remember staying up all night at my Mississippi grandmother's house when I was in high school reading The Legend of the Seventh Virgin and loving every minute of it. I've also read The Mistress of Mellyn although I thought it was just okay. I grabbed this one because I'm reading books published in my birth year and I'm glad I did.

This was great fun! The plot obviously owes a lot to Rebecca, although to Holt's credit her heroine is much less whiney and annoying than Du Maurier's - I never once had the desire to smack her around. The Cornish setting combined with mysterious and dangerous happenings, family surprises, sexy nurses and governesses with husband-stealing on their minds, and (I kid you not) evil twins - this makes for lots of Gothic fun and some chills and thrills. Great escapist reading. ( )
1 vote kraaivrouw | Aug 29, 2010 |
It's been quite a few years since I read this one. It contains all the necessary ingredients for a classic Holt Gothic; innocent young woman, dark mysterious man, unclear motives, mistaken identities, dark brooding house, possible ghosts, and attractive red herrings. I love it as much as I did when I was young.

Favel falls hard for Roc Pendoric, and marries him in haste after the death of her father. It is only when he takes her to his ancestral home in Cornwall, and she meets his family (all with secrets of their own) that she realizes that she may fall victim to the Curse of the Brides.
  MerryMary | Feb 21, 2010 |
Favel Farrington, the daughter of an artist, is literally swept off her feet by Roc Pendorric, who takes her to his family’s ancient estate in Cornwall. The family are all eager to welcome her—but there’s something sinister going on at Pendorric. For many years ago, a Bride of Pendorric died tragically at a young age, as did Roc’s mother, Barbarina. Local legend has it that Barbarina’s ghost is waiting for another Bride to come and take her place—in death.

Bride of Pendorric is obviously a twist on the Rebecca story—except instead of the dead former wife, it’s a dead former mother-in-law that’s the ghost! Victoria Holt’s novels are characterized by a wonderful sense of foreboding, starting with the very first page, and I’m glad to say that it’s not lacking here. Holt’s descriptions of Cornwall, characterized by its eerie fogs and local superstition, makes me want to visit Cornwall myself (after all, there’s got to be a reason why do many authors of novels in this the Gothic suspense genre choose to set their novels there). What I really loved about this book is the tension factor: you never really know if Roc is innocent or not (of murder, I mean; he’s not perfect as a whole, however).

There’s a fair amount of foreshadowing going on here, but it all plays out very well over the course of the novel. I could see the ending coming from about 100 pages from the end, but I nonetheless did enjoy watching the story play out before my eyes. At one point in the book, one of the characters remarks that twins run in the Pendorric family; but since twins only really run on the father’s side, this doesn’t really apply to Deborah and Barbarina, and Hyson and Lowella). Still, this was an excellent novel—I prefer the novels of Mary Stewart and Daphne Du Maurier, but Victoria Holt comes pretty close. ( )
  Kasthu | Dec 30, 2009 |
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I often marveled after I went to Pendorric that one's existence could change so swiftly, so devastatingly.
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Book description
Favel Farington knew very little about her new husband. When they met in Capri, the dashing young heir to Pendorric had swept the lovely English girl into marriage with the sudden fierceness of a summer storm. It was all wonderfully exciting, until Favel discovered that someone was planning a very special place for her in the family -- in the crypt with the other legendary "brides of Pendorric" who had all died so mysteriously, so tragically, and so young. Suddenly the words "till death do us part" took on a new and ominous meaning...

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312384165, Paperback)

Favel Farrington meets Roc Pendorric on the idyllic Mediterranean island of Capri, where she was raised and lives with her father.  Roc sweeps her off her feet, taking her from her home by an emerald sea to the ancient family home of the Pendorrics, in Cornwall. His sister and her family await them with open arms, welcoming young Favel. She is the much anticipated Bride of Pendorric, a name that amuses and flatters her.


The castle is beautiful in its way, but the atmosphere is foreboding. Roc’s twin nieces begin watching her carefully; even the stones in the courtyard seem to have eyes.  On the walls hang portraits of two other Brides of Pendorric—one of them Roc’s mother—who died both young and tragically. Favel’s fear increases as Roc seems to be growing more and more distant. Has her courtship and marriage been just a deception?


Soon Favel can no longer dismiss as accidents the strange things happening to her. Someone is trying to kill her and she must confront the very real dangers that surround her.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:46 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

From the day Favel came to Pendorric as the bride of Roc Pendorric she was drawn more and more under the spell of the place and the legend that hung about it of the curse of the Brides of Pendorric.

(summary from another edition)

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