Publisher: Harper Collins (Harper Paperback)
Pub date: 1 September 2011
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
(This is a short review of a book I read a while ago and made notes on. I don’t have this book with me now, so you’ll notice the review is a little thin on the details.)
Synopsis (From GoodReads)
When they were children, Erica Calcott and her sister, Beth, spent their summer holidays at Storton Manor. Now, following the death of their grandmother, they have returned to the grand, imposing house in Wiltshire, England. Unable to stem the tide of childhood memories that arise as she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings, Erica thinks back to the summer her cousin Henry vanished mysteriously from the estate, an event that tore their family to pieces. It is time, she believes, to lay the past to rest, bring her sister some peace, and finally solve the mystery of her cousin’s disappearance.
But sifting through remnants of a bygone time is bringing a secret family history to light—one that stretches back over a century, to a beautiful society heiress in Oklahoma, a haunting, savage land across the ocean. And as past and present converge, Erica and Beth must come to terms with two shocking acts of betrayal… and the heartbreaking legacy they left behind.
Erica and Beth have come back to their family home after many years. They spent many summers there with their harsh grandmother, difficult cousin Henry and Dinny, a traveler boy. But not all their time at this old house was happy. For both of them it brings back memories of a difficult time there when their cousin Henry disappeared.
This family tragedy has marked Beth, and her recent troubles have made her even more frail. Erica, the younger sister doesn’t quite remember all that happened that year, but she is sure that there is more under the surface. The sisters must make a decision about the house. Do they want to live there or sell it and give the proceeds away? Beth doesn’t want to be there and gets more nervous the longer they stay there. But Erica starts to go through old photographs in an attempt to uncover her family’s secrets.
The other story that we get to hear is about their great-grandmother Caroline. Caroline came over to America in the early 1900s and married Corin. She is very much in love with him, but her life is so different from anything she could ever have foreseen. The two stories stand on their own and I found them both intriguing and completely engrossing. What is great about the story is the way the two of them run in parallel and come together.
I was totally immersed in both stories. I wanted to find out what Caroline had hidden from her family for so long. And I wanted the sisters to uncover more recent secrets and perhaps find some comfort in finding out what happened. The characters in the story are interesting ( and there are many of them) and I loved getting to know them. The underlying mystery was also brilliantly told and expertly revealed. I can’t wait for Webb’s next book.
Highly recommended. Fans of literary fiction and readers who enjoy stories about unraveling family secrets will love The Legacy.
*See my Rating policy
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