Publishing year: 2010
In the last few days I’ve been reading this book. It starts in 1905 with a woman, Caroline, and we see her abandon a baby.
We are not given many details about the reasons why she has to get rid of the child, but we do know she’s expecting another baby. The action moves to the present day with Erica. She and her sister Beth have inherited a manor from their grandmother on the condition they live in the big house. Otherwise, the manor will go to some charity. Erica thinks she couldn’t live in the manor, and Beth is less likely to do so. We learn that Caroline was these women’s great grandmother.
The book alternates between time frames. We get to learn more about Caroline in 1902 before the events of the prologue. Caroline is from New York, and her parents died when she was a child, leaving her with an aunt. Her aunt never showed her any love, and when she’s eighteen, she meets Corin Massey, the owner of a ranch in Oklahoma. They fall in love and marry, and then a month after the wedding, Caroline travels from New York to Woodward in Oklahoma. It’s a long journey, and Caroline is getting nervous about the life she’s to lead from now on. I’m afraid Caroline will find herself in a life she’s not ready for. I’m curious to know how Caroline ends up in England and in the manor instead of Oklahoma.
At present time Erica is spending time at the manor with her sister Beth. There are many moments when Erica reminisces her childhood when she and Beth spent their summers in the manor with their grandmother Meredith. There are some hints about something strange happening in one of those summers that marked their lives from then on. Apparently, their cousin Henry disappeared or died, we don’t know which yet. In those days Erica and Beth had a friend, Dinny, who their grandmother didn’t like. Now years later Erica runs into Dinny. I have the impression that Dinny and Beth were fond of each otehr when they were children, and it seems that Dinny still remembers Beth fondly. However, Dinny is with a girl who Erica thinks is young enough to have his daughter; this girl is having his baby. We also know that Beth is suffering from a deep depression; Erica hints that this depression comes from that event that marked that summer years ago. Beth has an eleven-year-old son, and her relationship with her ex-husband is quite shaky as he thinks Beth isn’t fit to look after their son because of her mental condition.
I’m enjoying the book so much! I love books that combine two time-frames, and the characters in this novel are fascinating.