heaven_ali (heaven_ali) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

#8 Treasure Hunt - Molly Keane (1952)

Molly Keane (sometimes known as M J Farrell) first wrote Treasure Hunt as a play, and it is easy to see how the play would have been staged, as the novel retains much of the feel of a play. Characters enter stage left and take up their positions, say their piece and move off, just as on stage.
The story opens following the funeral of Roderick Ryall, brother to Hercules and Consuelo. The three have enjoyed a champagne life style of gambling and carousing in their Irish home of Ballyroden. Following Roddy's death however, dreadful debts incurred by this lifestyle mean things have to change. It is the younger generation, in heir Philip and his cousin Veronica who have to wave the big stick and make the grown up decisions. Like taking in dreaded paying guests from England - while the old guard, Consuelo and Hercules do all they can to thwart them, their escapades smack hilariously of naughty childishness. Aged Aunt Anna Rose, spends most of her time in an eighteenth century sedan chair, fitted with telephone, her "nest" pretending to travel the world. Waited upon by loyal servant William she has long forgotten where she hid her precious rubies - rubies no one is sure ever existed. Into this eccentric household enter Dorothy, Eustace and Yvonne - the PG's - Dorothy wants to leave as soon as she arrives, while Yvonne takes a great interest in young Sir Phillip, Eustace is charmed by Aunt Anna Rose and determines to uncover her story and the rubies.
This is a light charming read, wonderfully eccentric and enormously readable.

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