The Abbots Ghost or Maurice Treherne Temptation by Louisa May Alcott
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Louisa May Alcott enthusiasts would be delighted to read this short novel published in 1867, just a year before the grand debut of her most famous Little Women trilogy. This is one of three books she wrote under the pseudonym AM Barnard. She used this name to pen tales that were meant more for adult readers, though younger people will find them quite interesting too. The Abbot's Ghost or Maurice Treherne's Temptation is a romance, mystery, ghost-story and novel of manners all rolled into one. She subtitled it A Christmas Story and it certainly evokes memories of old-fashioned holiday seasons, before the advent of the Internet and TV, where one sat round a cozy fire and told eerie tales to while away the time. In the story, Maurice Treherne is falsely implicated in a case of forgery and fraud. He also loses the use of his legs while trying to save the life of his debonair man-about-town cousin, Jasper. Jasper's wealthy bachelor uncle had initially made Maurice and Jasper equal inheritors in his will but for some reason suddenly cut Maurice out of it, leaving Jasper the sole beneficiary. Both cousins are in love with the beautiful Octavia Snowden, another cousin, who is also named in the will. A femme fatale makes her appearance in the form of Edith Snowden, a woman unhappily married and looking for diversion. Maurice who has recently returned from a course of treatment in London to the family mansion is thrown into the midst of a mystery. An eerie abbot is frequently sighted wandering through the corridors of the ancient country house.... Fans of the television miniseries Downton Abbey will find this story fits right in! Intrigues, romance, dangerous vamps, desperate villains and sardonic heroes – they're all there! Modern-day readers would find the book refreshingly nostalgic, harking back to a time when good triumphed over evil and all the loose ends get neatly tied up by the end of a novel. Lousia May Alcott's tender yet thrilling tale of love, deceit, honor, betrayal, scandal and mystery set in a more gentle age is reminiscent of the novels of other Victorian writers. In fact, it would be fair to say that The Abbot's Ghost is a happy mix of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens! Maurice Treherne is a memorable hero while the Ghost is as scary as they come! The Abbot's Ghost or Maurice Treherne's Temptation is a great addition to your bookshelf!… continue reading