An enormous house in Cornwall is filled with love and laughter during lazy seasons of the 1960s when Hugo Alton and his nontraditional American wife vacation with their brood: teenaged twins Amber and Toby, lively 5-year-old Barney, and the youngest, sweet and chubby Kitty. Over thirty years later, Lorna and Jon discover the nearly hidden estate on their search for a wedding venue. Lorna is enchanted, her love of old clothes and houses something she shared with her recently deceased mother. Jon is more wary – and he hasn’t even met the owner yet. Compelled by a force stronger than mere curiosity, Lorna is determined to learn the house’s secrets – story that holds unspeakable tragedy for the Alton family.
Through parallel narratives, debut novelist Eve Chase creates a haunting tale in a gothic setting, building suspense slowly and inventing a distinctive cast of characters.
Readalike: Similar in tone and atmosphere to The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield but slightly more hopeful.
Readalikes: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield