Troubador The Legacy of Mr Jarvis

Released: 28/11/2019

ISBN: 9781838591564

eISBN: 9781838596903

Format: Paperback/eBook

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The Legacy of Mr Jarvis


It is 1966 and 12-year-old Mary Foster’s narrow, prescribed world is abruptly disturbed by a sudden move from suburban London to a neglected Victorian house on the south coast of England.

A new friendship provides Mary with some comfort in an unfamiliar world of seagull squawks, endless horizons and strange new lodgers. But an unexpected discovery of deceit and deception profoundly affects her life and Mary is left to carry on, bitter and resentful, but silent on the matter.

40 years later, Mary wants to know more. Another age, another era, another century; such secrecy and lies seem cowardly and irrelevant. Mary is anxious for the truth. Or at least she thinks she is – until the chance to uncover certain realities tests her resolve.

Hampshire County Libraries hold copies of my novels at Winchester Discovery Centre lending library.

I write a regular blog on my website.

Monday 4th November, I am a guest on Antonia Honeywell's BOOK BRUNCH SHOW on CHILTERN VOICE FM from 10 until noon talking all things books!

Book Fairs:
I will be at the Henley on Arden Book Fair on Sunday 17th November - followed by the Brighton and Hove Book Fair on Saturday 23rd. November. On Saturday December 7th, I will be at CRAFTY WOMEN FAIR at Winchester's Guildhall selling copies of my two novels.

BROOK'S BOOK SHOP in PINNER is now stocking my novels - on Thursday March 12th. I will part of an authors' evening, meeting readers and other writers and talking books!

Saturday 21st March - Book signing at SMITH'S of WINCHESTER! - sadly cancelled because of Covid 19 ...

My novel MILLER STREET SW22 is to be published in February 2021. The beautiful cover image is courtesy of the artist Josephine Chisholm who took on the commission to design it.

Online book launch is on Wednesday 24th February at 6.00 pm. Both the paperback and eBook are now available.

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That's Books

Jude Hayland has written a fascinating story. I could not put down The Legacy of Mr Jarvis, and read it in one day. Mary Foster is starting to revisit all her family secrets, and all of their demons. This is a multi-layered story, with twists but not in the thriller sense but in the family sense.

The writing is simply extraordinary. Jude Hayland does an excellent job taking ordinary, average people and portraying them in totality, good and bad, strengths and flaws. Mary is a wonderful, fully realized character. I understood and empathized with her. Time does seem to fly by and as you look back on your life, there are defining moments along the way, but it is never to late to make a change. Ms. Hyland's story and the characters she creates to inhabit them are quite phenomenal. They unassumingly live in the real world, face real situations, and do their best based on the circumstances. This is a novel about family, keeping your own council, second chances, self-discovery, and, ultimately, hope.

Ms. Hayland has drawn Mary, her family and friends with a deft pen. I was so drawn into their history. The author handles all the tender aspects of the story with great sensitivity and draws such compassion for the characters. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a literate and compassionate look at the lives we lead.

by Shelley

Eleven-year old Mary Foster, without her parent's warning her, is suddenly leaving her London home and moved to the seaside. If it wasn't for Eva becoming her best friend, she would have been miserable. Her parents haven't explained the sudden move, there is no communication between the three of them and when she has to give up her room for a lodger she's not in the least aware how much that will affect the rest of her life.

The descriptions of the grown-up Mary to her ailing mother Ida who has descended into Altzheimer's, and her timid elderly father who now lives alone, are sad and poignant. She's also reflecting on her past...why the lack of communication between the three of them, why couldn't they be like other 'normal' families? Slowly the truth slots into place, as pieces of the puzzle that was their lives start making sense.

I absolutely loved this book, it's such a vivid depiction of family life decades ago. It took me back to my own childhood and our family dynamics; the emotional ramifications of parents who survived WWII.
Beautifully written with so much heart and vividly drawn characters, I devoured the book as slowly as possible so I didn't have to leave the story. As much as I loved Mary and Eva, I think my favorite character was Susan, I admired her stoicism a lot.

Great book, highly recommended!

by Hannelore

Thank you Net Galley, for the opportunity to read this book. The plot of this book is the life of Mary from the time she is a young girl to present day. It goes from past to present with each chapter, each time giving us a bit more info and shining more light on why things are they way they are. I really enjoyed Mary and her friend Eva’s characters. They were instantly likeable and I found myself wishing everything would go well for Mary. I Looked at Ida and felt I understood just how Mary felt towards her mother, I could see some of me in Mary. The story is unique as it isn’t all black and white, there is a lot left in the grey area and it forced me to decide how I wanted things to be. This book had me looking beyond the obvious and questioning how well we really now our parents and friends. We see what they want us to see and we don’t always understand the how and why of many situations. The book flows nicely and I believe you will enjoy reading it.

by Sarah

It’s been rehashed in the book descriptor but I have to outline the plot. A young girl named Mary Foster is unexpectantly uprooted from her childhood home in London and moved to to a seaside home far away. She comes home one day and the movers are packing things up. Her parents didn’t give her any warning. Imagine that….I would be extremely upset to lose my friends and suburban life without warning, that is from the point of view of a twelve year old.

The perspective jumps to Mary as an adult, taking care of her aging father and her mother who now has Alzheimer’s. Things her mother remembers sparks Mary to research her past a bit. It’s funny how some things we don’t understand as a child make perfect sense when you are an adult.

It’s a point of reference from the grown up experiences and how we remember something that suddenly fits like a puzzle. The “Oh, that’s what that meant!” kinda thing.

Without spoilers I can say the end leaves you to make up your own mind how life proceeds for Mary. Two clear and distinct choices are presented by Mary, taking her life in the direction she chooses. Which one did she pick? Hmmmm….The author depicts a normal group of characters with everyday flaws and problems.

Much thanks to NetGalley for the complimentary copy of this book. I was not compensated for the review. Would I read more by Jude Hayland? Absolutely.

by Tina

When the reader is introduced to Mr Jarvis, a lodger taken in by the family, one wonders why he is so important to the story. Told through the eyes of the daughter of the house, both as a child and as an adult in the current day, the reader sees the events unfold and slowly put the pieces of the story together. I really enjoyed this book once I got into the time jumps back and forth. I would be interested to read more by this author.

by Pam

This is a beautiful book, it’s well written and I could vividly imagine all the characters. I loved the setting of the 1960’s as we follow twelve year old Mary and her parents who suddenly up sticks from London and move to a large run down house near Brighton, where they take in lodgers including Miss Mackie and Mr Jarvis. The story is told by Mary, now in middle age, her mother is in a care home suffering from dementia, and Mary wants to piece together the events of her teenage years, and find out why her mother and father never spoke about them.

Although the book feels like a mystery it’s so much more than that and I recommend it.

by Pauline

Easily one of the best books I've read this year. Such an unusual storyline and so beautifully told. Exceptional.

by Beverley

At first I couldn’t see where this book was going but as the story unfolds in a relaxed meandering way you crack the mystery. Not a fast moving edge of the chair reading more of a well written nice story of friendship and changing morals, interesting how acceptable behaviour has change from the 60’s through the following decades.

by Halina

The author has given us a beautifully written book that is complex in it's telling, but the book is very readable. Sometimes we need to trust ourselves and our ability to remake ourselves and trust in a possible future. This book was different than the cookie cutter plots we often see, and I found that refreshing.

by Sue

The author has given us a beautifully written book that is complex in it's telling, but the book is very readable. Sometimes we need to trust ourselves and our ability to remake ourselves and trust in a possible future. This book was different than the cookie cutter plots we often see, and I found that refreshing.

by Sue

11 year old Mary and her family suddenly move from bustling London to a seaside town on the south coast. She quickly teams up with Eva and they become firm friends. Over the years they share many experiences and Mary enjoys the more luxurious and relaxed home life of Eva. We follow the girls as they grow up and start to become young women in the vibrant 1960s. In a parallel thread we see Mary grown up with elderly parents and trying to make sense of things in the past. Why did they move so suddenly and why did their lodgers behave so strangely?

I did enjoy this book with its beautifully crafted characters. The descriptions are excellent & I could relate well to their characters.

The story itself doesn't move along at any great speed. It is a definite amble. To be fair, there isn't a particularly strong storyline in the sense of many books. There are a couple of "reveals" but they were quite apparent to the reader for a while before Mary discovers them. There isn't a plot but rather a series of small events with Mary seeking to understand them.

The ending of this book is excellent. By that I mean the very last couple of pages where the author leaves the reader to arrive at their own conclusions.

There is a lot in this book in the way of observations and descriptions but not much in the way of action and in depth plot. However I do feel that there would be much to discuss if this were to be a book group choice.

by Debra

Full Text:
While not a thriller book, there are lots of twists and turns throughout the story. As you delve into Mary Foster’s family secrets, you will become familiar with ordinary people who suffer from the good, the bad, and the ugly. They are real people with real issues. The presentation of a family with second chances and hope is moving. The author does a great job of drawing you into the story and allowing you to have strong feelings for the characters. You will discover a strong compassion for them that will touch you.

My heart aches for Mary as she deals with caring for her aging father and her mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. There are secrets and lies and Mary tries to figure out the pieces of the puzzle and find the answer. It was an interesting read.

by NetGalley review

Jude Hayland

Born in London, I spent many years writing commercial short fiction for magazines and was widely published in both the UK and internationally.

Completing an M.A. in Creative Writing with distinction entirely changed my focus and I started writing longer fiction, completing my first novel in 2017 -COUNTING THE WAYS. My second novel,THE LEGACY OF MR JARVIS>/b>was published in 2019. Both are available as a paperback and eBook.

My third novel, MILLER STREET SW22 will be published in February 2021.

In addition to writing, I also teach creative writing classes and combine this with working as a tutor of English and Drama.

I have lived in Winchester for the past 25 years although London remains the place that has the greatest sense of home to me. I also spend a great deal of time at a family house in north west Crete.

My genre is: family/relationships/book group fiction/women's fiction/literary/commercial crossover and I particularly enjoy setting my novels in the recent, lived past.

Jude Hayland

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