Tumbledown Manor by Helen Brown



From New York Times bestselling author Helen Brown comes a witty, uplifting novel about a woman who discovers that it’s never too late to build the home–and the life–you’ve always longed for…

The windows rattle. The roof leaks. Every surface cries out to be stripped, painted, or polished. But for writer Lisa Trumperton, the dilapidated manor house that once belonged to her great-grandfather is far more than the sum of its battered parts. It’s the chance for a new start on her own terms. The fact that it’s in the Melbourne countryside of her Australian homeland, far from the deceitful ex-husband she just left behind in New York…well, that’s a bonus.

Lisa sets to work refurbishing Trumperton Manor, assisted by her son, his friends, and a “Gray Army” of retired handymen. But it’s not just her ancestral home that’s being transformed. As she trades her chic Manhattan clothes for jeans and work boots, Lisa is changing and fortifying her relationships with her family and her sense of self. There are floods, fires, and catastrophes, but there are new allies too, including a one-eyed cat, a stubborn cockatoo, and a rugged landscaper with an irresistible grin. Piece by piece, the house is pushing Lisa beyond her old limits, daring her to embrace something bigger, braver, and more rewarding than she ever dreamed.


I am going to start off with the things I liked about the novel. It is  a novel that echoes books like Eat, Pray, Love and My life in France…  On after though it strongly tasted of Under the Tuscan Sun(movie). A straightforward novel of family relations, pain transformed to love, rediscovering your true self and moving on after the devastation of a broken marriage.  The style is engaging, but not too heavy. Although some serious topics are touched upon, it does so in an easygoing tone and an overall optimistic veil is spread across the book. It was for me an easy, read-on-the-beach novel that will not necessarily stick to haunt me for years later… Most likely I will forget it soon after writing the review.

Despite the appealing premise and some engaging scenes and characters unfortunately, Tumbledown Manor wasn’t much more than an okay read for me. It was a good, but plain book that did not bring extraordinary anything in my life. It is uplifting, it is sunny and makes you smile, but the overall verdict is I have read so many books EXACTLY the same as this one.

Maybe there are women out there, or men for that matter, who like re-reading the same story with different characters and backgrounds, but I am not one of them.  I recieved this book as a review copy from NetGalley.


I give The Tumbledown Manor 2 fox, because it was the fruit of a lot of effort and thought. It was well established and enjoyable, but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.




A potato with a book. Screams German words when angry. Known as the Mid-night Chocolate Thief. Breathes to write and mingle. Observes and remembers. Pokes you when you least expect it. Can be put on a stand by mode with a cup of coffee/ tea.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s