Celia’s House

Written by D.E. Stevenson
Review by Andrea Connell

A heartwarming family saga set in Scotland in the early-to-mid 20th century, Celia’s House has been referred to as a take on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park with a slight element of the paranormal. This reader can’t confirm or deny this supposition, but what I can say is that I am grateful to see prolific writer D.E. Stevenson’s warm, light romances and family sagas back on the market again. Celia’s House is a reprint of the original 1943 edition and reads a little more “formally” than current fiction—“formally” in an entirely entertaining and readable sense.

Realizing that she does not want her precious estate to pass to her greedy socialite relatives, Celia (thumbing her nose at convention) names her great-nephew heir to the estate… on the condition that it will pass to his yet unborn daughter (to be named Celia). As the family grows, they also take in Deb—a shy young cousin—who is lovesick for Mark, the boy of the house (who ultimately discovers he will not be the future heir and must make his own way). Mark, however, sees her as a sister, not a romantic interest. The generations grow and move forward; lives entwining and events climaxing at the advent of the Second World War.

An innocent, charming multigenerational family story, warming the reader’s heart like a bowl of Mother’s homemade chicken soup.