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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of The Familiars and The Foundling comes Stacey Halls' most compelling and ambitious novel to date. 

West Yorkshire, 1904. When newly graduated nurse Ruby May takes a position looking after the children of Charles and Lilian England, a wealthy couple from a powerful dynasty of mill owners, she hopes it will be the fresh start she needs. But as she adapts to life at the isolated Hardcastle House, it becomes clear there's something not quite right about the beautiful, mysterious Mrs England. 

Distant and withdrawn, Lilian shows little interest in her children or charming husband, and is far from the 'angel of the house' Ruby was expecting. As the warm, vivacious Charles welcomes Ruby into the family, a series of strange events forces her to question everything she thought she knew. Ostracised by the servants and feeling increasingly uneasy, Ruby must face her demons in order to prevent history from repeating itself. After all, there's no such thing as the perfect family - and she should know. 

Simmering with slow-burning menace, Mrs England is a portrait of an Edwardian marriage, weaving an enthralling story of men and women, power and control, courage, truth and the very darkest deception. Set against the atmospheric West Yorkshire landscape, Stacey Halls' third novel proves her one of the most exciting and compelling new storytellers of our times.    

©2021 Stacey Halls (P)2021 Bonnier Books UK

Critic Reviews

"The new Hilary Mantel." (Cosmopolitan)

What listeners say about Mrs England

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  • Overall
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Profile Image for Mrs J.
  • Mrs J.
  • 06-14-21

Another fantastic story from Stacey Halls

I really enjoyed the story as I have previous books, the only thing that spoilt it for me was the flat, monotone, expressionless narrative. I I'd have enjoyed listening to it more if it had been read by someone else. Sorry!

49 people found this helpful

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  • papapownall
  • 06-16-21

Another excellent historical Stacey Halls novel

Having listened to Stacey Halls' first two novels The Familiars (17th Lancashire witches) and The Foundling (story of a shrimp girl in Georgian London) I had this latest book on pre-order from the moment its release was announced. As with the first two books Mrs England is loosely based on a real life character, in this case a young girl from Birmingham with a dark family secret, and most of the story of her life is imagined. This time was find ourselves in Edwardian times and most of the tale is set in Yorkshire in an unspecified mill town somewhere near Halifax and I suspect that the "Kayleigh" that is referred to may well be the West Yorkshire town of Keighley. Ruby arrives as the new nurse to a rich mill owner Mr England and gets to know the children and encounters strange behaviour from the family and those around them. This is all very mysterious and the story is well told. Themes such as class, motherhood and feminism from Stacey Halls' previous two books are also covered in this intriguing story. It seems that Stacey Halls has hit on a winning formula here and I am certainly a fan and will look out for her next work. Five stars.

25 people found this helpful

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  • R. J. Gladden
  • 06-14-21

Brilliantly written

I have read both previous novels written by Stacey Hall and enjoyed both of them. So it was with some anticipation that I waited for Stacey’s most recent creation. It was well worth waiting for, broody and scenic with a well drafted plot, I fell in love with Ruby May and, by the end, Mrs England too. Imogen Wilde’s narration could not be faulted either. I finished this book in 24 hours while on a short staycation in the Ribble Valley and was saddened when it came to an end. This author has rapidly become one of my favourite writers and, although I’ve only just finished this novel, I really can’t wait for the next!

17 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs D Schofield
  • 07-07-21

Great Book, shame about the narrator

I love Stacey Halls books, but I have to say that this story was ruined for me by the narrator. I don't think she always had the right intonation in her voice a d I found it distracting when she would stop during a sentence unnecessarily.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-04-21

Terrible narration

The story was as great as I have learnt to expect from Stacey Halls however it was spoilt by the terrible, monotoned narration with the unnecessary and badly timed extended pauses and the awful ‘voices’ of some of the characters which left them sounding dumb and stupid. Very painful to listen to and overall disappointing.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Penelope
  • 06-15-21

Does not dissapoint

Excellent, engaging and well researched novel - if you are a fan of Stacey Halls, you won't be disappointed. Beautifully performed and once again, so wonderful to listen to historical novels featuring working class heroines.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-13-21

exceptional, thrilling and for me nostalgic

loved Staycey Halls previous two books and hotly anticipated this one. I was in no way disappointed. I am deeply and emotionally familiar with the Yorkshire landscape which she perfectly describes this mastery of literature. And the journey into the beautifully morbid landcape in which she uses as a backdrop for a tale of the duty to constantly care of others. loved every second and long may Halls continue her exploration into the emotive roles of women and guardianship.

7 people found this helpful

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  • kitty whately
  • 07-02-21

Very slow. Brummy voice very dull

Oof this took a lot of sticking with, for very little reward. I found this very dull, and the ending not particularly revelatory. The narrator needs to have a Birmingham accent so there was no avoiding that, but I’m sorry to say it’s a very boring voice and ugly accent so I didn’t enjoy listening to it at all.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-20-21

Good story - dull reader

I really didn't think I'd make it through this book, given the dullness of the readers voice and delivery. At one stage I actually speeded up the sound in order to try and add a bit of life to the delivery. I understand why the narrator would choose to take the flat north country sound so much to heart, but it detracted from the enjoyment. I felt the character of Ruby May had so much more to her than the voice displayed, otherwise why would she have been so much a favorite with the children? The story line was slow to start but built to some nice Gothic twists and turns, and came to a clever climax and conclusion. I'm glad that I stuck it out to the end.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Linda Wall
  • 07-03-21

Disappointing

Had great expectations after reading the reviews however found the story never really hooked me. This may be because of the narrators voice which I found to be really flat and lackluster.

3 people found this helpful