First in the 'house' trilogy. The beginning. The story starts with Martin reed who is a serf, a man little more than a slave in 13th century England.He describes his life so well you wonder if Norah Lofts had a time machine.
The love of a simple wench and the realisation that he and she were merely chattels, belonging to the lord to do with as he would,made Martin so angry that he rebelled He struck the man who was his master, an act which could be punishable by death, and had to run.
No help could be had from his family because they too were serfs and owned by the lord and they would be punished for helping him. So what to do?
The story unfolds of how Martin came to leave the village he was born in ,and eventually build his house and found a dynasty. When you start reading this book, you will not be able to put it down. You will become bound up in the story, feel despair when he feels it, rage when someone does him wrong and joy when things come right for him against all odds. When you finish the book you will want to start reading the next in the trilogy.
As usual Norah Lofts has thoroughly researched her subject material and the story is woven around facts about life at that time.