Summer 1924: on the eve of a glittering Society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.
Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, 98, one-time house-maid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and memories, long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind, begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge; something history has forgotten but Grace never could.
I must admit I’m not a huge fan of historical novels, but this one had been recommended to me by so many people I thought it was worth a read. I’m glad I did. While a little slow to begin, the tentacles of the story gradually unfurled and drew me in and by the end I couldn’t put it down.
The most outstanding thing about this book is the prose. It positively flows off the pages and surrounds you like a warm bath. Kate Moreton has captured the time period perfectly – from the dialogue to societal expectations, fashions and the social structure of
in the early 20th century. The setting is also perfectly conveyed – you feel like you are in the English manor and you can see and feel the fog rolling in. The historical references to World War I were also very accurate and compelling, giving a human view of what happened to men who went off to war. England
To be honest, I didn’t find the mystery that exciting when it was finally revealed but it simply doesn’t matter. To get to the point of the mystery being revealed was such a beautiful literary journey I couldn’t be disappointed.