The Rabbit’s Foot was a Lucky Charm: The Rabbit’s Foot, the third book in the Hartford Manor series by Marcia Clayton, is a heart-warming story with a raw honesty about country life in 19th century Devon, which does not avoid the hardships and prejudices of social class – or the assumption that wealth excuses everything. Health issues come to the fore, together with social attitudes to disabilities that many in the Victorian era preferred to ignore. Robert Fellwood, the heir to the Hartford Estate, and his wife Annie, from the working classes tackle the problems head-on. Sam, a newly discovered member of the Fellwood family, inherits wealth; but having spent most of his life in obscurity, all he wants is to find his missing son. Although not all his family accept him, those that do help him to adjust to his new life.

1885 North Devon, England

Mr Edward Snell was more than a little curious when Robert Fellwood, the heir to Hartford Manor, and his elderly aunt, the Lady Margery, begged an audience on a Saturday morning. However, being such valued clients, the solicitor was happy to oblige. As his clerk showed the visitors in, he was intrigued to see them followed by an old man who, though respectably dressed, had something of a vagrant about him. The crisp suit in which he was attired could not disguise his weather-beaten face or his missing teeth.

Robert introduced his Uncle Sam and explained he had come to claim his inheritance. The solicitor was old enough to remember the extensive search for Thomas Fellwood when his father, Ephraim, died in 1840. However, that was some forty-five years ago, and the young man had never been found. Yet here was Sam, who claimed to be Thomas Fellwood’s son and even more surprising, was the fact that the Fellwood family appeared to have accepted him as such.

“The Rabbit’s Foot” is an intriguing and compelling novel with many unexpected twists and turns. Set in the small seaside village of Hartford, it tells the tale of how an old man, who has spent his life with barely a penny to his name, suddenly finds himself rich beyond his wildest dreams. However, there is only one thing that Sam Fellwood truly wants, and that is to be reunited with his son, Marrok, whom he abandoned at the age of five. Will Sam find the happiness that has eluded him for so many lonely years?

Enthralling read: Another fascinating story about the lives of the Hartford Manor inhabitants, their family and friends. I was immersed in a way of life that has long gone, sometimes for the better, but sometimes for the worse. The characters were very well crafted, leading them to interact in unexpected ways. I liked the drama and the humour, which was blended into a gripping read. I loved reading it but didn’t want the story to end. Now I must wait, impatiently for the next book!

Brilliant Book! As soon as I started reading this book I was enthralled. I felt as though I was with old friends! Sam was my favourite character in the last book so I was delighted to read more about him and his search for his son! I would definitely recommend this book. You won’t want to put it down! Hope there’s going to be another one in the series.

A Superb Ending to a Brilliant Series! The Rabbit’s Foot by Marcia Clayton is the third novel in the Hartford manor series and it continues the story of Annie Carter. Now happily married, her poverty-stricken youth is behind her, and she lives a happy, contented life. But the story continues and, while I am glad to see that a lot of it revolves around Annie and her extended family, I was delighted to see the author has introduced a new threat revolving around Theresa, the daughter of George carter, and a new mystery in the history of the old tramp, Sam. I loved these two new elements because they took the saga in a slightly different direction. The danger Theresa finds herself in is terrible and I could hardly turn the pages, worrying what fate would befall her. The story of Sam the tramp is wonderful. I love these old codgers – Sam, Peter and Lady Margery. Despite the difference in their stations in life, the three are firm friends and the affection they each share for one another is true. So, the Hartford Manor series has come to an end and I hope it is only a temporary ending. I would love to read more – to see the babies grown up and discover how their lives pan out and I will definitely be keeping my fingers crossed for another book.

 A satisfying conclusion to the trilogy: I adore the characters in these books! They have sprawling extended families and defy convention and although they fill their immediate world with love, warmth and support for each other, they face some truly dark and terrible adventures. There’s some satisfying symmetry in this book as it completes the trilogy; poor elevated to riches beyond their dreams, love and security for those who seemed doomed to live alone and in fear. Now I’ve come to the end, there is a spin-off tale somewhere, so I’m going off to find it!

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