Over 20 five-star reviews for this "magnificent" family saga from Susan Howatch, which became her first international bestseller.

I read this first when I was a young teenager and was deeply moved and involved. This year, after 5 other trips to England, I finally traveled to the actual places in Cornwall that she fictionalized in her brilliant and engaging writing. I purchased a new copy of Penmarric at a small bookshop in St Ives, and took a very sentimental tour of the Cornish landscape - windswept cemeteries, old churchyards and sprawling mansions that I first visited as a child through her eyes. It was haunting, thrilling and quite sentimental to finally be there on my 40th birthday. This book is superb, enjoy it! -- Amazon reviewer

Penmarric, by Susan Howatch

Among Mark Castallack's sons are men who want him dead-and this hardly promotes family harmony
Mark Castallack may have the woman of his dreams, a large fortune, and Penmarric, a Victorian mock-castle on the cliffs of Cornwall, but his private life is heading for disaster. His marriage fails, and when he takes a mistress he winds up with two families who hate each other. As the twentieth century unfolds, his children are left struggling to save not only Penmarric but themselves, and their struggles are marked by greed, ambition, and murder. Howatch's magnificent novel was her first international bestseller and is as compelling as Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Susan Howatch including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author's personal collection.


Customer Reviews


Online Sample


Meet the Author

Susan Howatch is an English author. Her writing career has been distinguished by family saga-type novels which describe the lives of related characters for long periods of time. Her later books have also become known for their religious and philosophical themes. Born Susan Elizabeth Sturt in Leatherhead, Surrey, England, she was the daughter of a stockbroker, and went to school at Sutton High School. She was an only child whose father was killed during World War II, but she has described her childhood as a happy one. She obtained a degree in law from King's College London in 1961. In 1964, she emigrated to the United States, where she worked as a secretary in New York City. She began her career as a writer, finding success almost immediately with her intricately detailed gothic novels. In 1975, Howatch returned to England, then lived in the Republic of Ireland from 1976-80 before moving back to England permanently in 1980.

In 1971, she published the first of her family sagas, Penmarric, which details the fortunes and disputes of the Penmar family in Cornwall during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. An important theme of the story is how the mansion of Penmarric becomes controlled by various branches of the family.

Howatch followed a similar theme in her vast saga, The Wheel of Fortune , where the story of the Godwin family of Oxmoon in Gower, South Wales, is in fact a re-creation in a modern form of the story of the Plantagenet family of Edward III of England, the modern characters being created from those of his eldest son Edward of Woodstock (The Black Prince) and his wife Joan of Kent, John of Gaunt and his mistress and then wife, Katherine Swynford, Richard II (son of Edward of Woodstock), Henry IV (son of John of Gaunt) and Henry IV's eldest son King Henry V. Again the mansion represents the throne.

More from this Author