Title: The Hidden Hand
Also called Capitola the Madcap with the sequel Capitola’s Peril
Author: E.D.E.N. Southworth
Date Started: August 7, 2014
Genres: Fiction, History, Romance, Mystery
My Rating: 4
(New) Good for ages: 12+
Major Warfield, also known as Old Hurricane because of his violent temper and his manse Hurricane Hall, is called out in the middle of a stormy night to listen to an old woman’s confession.
He then heads to New York in search of the woman’s ward, Capitola, with intent to bring her back as his ward until he could bring her into her own stolen property.
He meets her in the middle of her trial for being found working as a newsboy dressed in boys clothes. He claims her as his ward and the judge lets her go with him and she returns to Hurricane hall in Virginia with him.
We are also introduced to Mara Rock, and her son Travers and foster son Herbert Grayson (who was friends with Captiola before her first guardian left her). Herbert, through the kindness of Old Hurricane goes to west point and joins the army. Travers is under the tutelage of Dr. Day, a neighbor of theirs. Travers is soon taken in as a live in apprentice with Mrs. Rock as housekeeper to the family when he falls in love with the doctor’s beautiful daughter Clara.
A death, a ghost, a robber, a mad house. All these things serve to describe the rest of the book as the stories unfold and more connections and mysteries are found between the lead characters.
Note: I listened to the book so I don’t know if I’m spelling all of the characters names correctly.
I’ve read this book three times and I enjoy it every time :).
Historical fiction with romance and mystery. The PoV jumps around a bit but in a controlled and understandable manner. I was never left wondering who I was following.
The story itself is sweet, a little sad, and thrilling. Mysteries and deceptions lurk around every corner.
A warning for those who may be bothered (mild spoilers):
-Capitola is high-spirited and a little naughty and disrespectful at times.
-Her guardian, Old Hurricane is blustering and has frequent brief fits of rage. Sort of like a grown ups temper-tantrum.
– There is a scene where a man is in Capitola’s bedroom to carry her off. His intentions are evil but nothing inappropriate is said or done.
My Favorite Quotes:
~ Capitola on her life at Hurricane Hall vs New York
“Catch me coming to my senses, when it’s so delightful to be mad. I’m too sharp for that.”
“I wonder how long they’ll keep me here? Forever, I hope. Until I get cured. I hope they won’t cure me; I vow I won’t be cured. It’s a great deal too pleasant to be mad, and I’ll stay so.”
~“And no sooner had Cap been commanded, if she valued her safety, not to cross the water or climb the precipice than, as a natural consequence, she began to wonder what was in the valley behind the mountain and what might be in the woods across the river. And she longed, above all things, to explore and find out for herself.”
~“She loved old houses and old legends well enough to enjoy them; but was not sufficiently credulous to believe, or cowardly to fear, them.”
Where can you get this book: Amazon