The Second World War looms and young, curious Cecily desperately wants to know her 16-year old sister’s secret. But there is a lot more she wants to know too. Why is her mother’s sister, Kitty, always staying on their Suffolk farm? Who is the sinister stranger Robert Wilson? Where does her sister go as she climbs out of her window at night? Then her charred remains are found on the burnt out pier and strangely Cecily feels it is somehow her fault. The poetic narrative flits between past, present and future most effectively. The lyrical prose allows the reader to feel the tension and dismay building up to the approaching war. We also follow an Italian family who own the local ice-cream parlour and their fears of the future. The plot is full of secrets which Cecily tries to uncover with devastating results. Highly recommended.
How deep the summer had bitten into the land that last August, how cruelly it had burnt into earth and grass and air. What had started out as a pastel and water-faded spring turning so unexpectedly into a splintering, shimmering thing.
All that had been required was a spark to cause a fire. Why had no one noticed? The summer of 1939 broke the Maudsley family. Cecily was only thirteen years-old and desperate to grow up; desperate to be as beautiful and desired and reckless as her older sister Rose. Now, in her forties, the family resemblance is uncanny but Cecily is a shadow of her former self. A part of her died that fateful summer.Returning to the deserted family farm as an adult, Cecily recalls the light before the storm, before the war came and before the terrible family tragedy. It was a summer of laughter and icecream, promises and first love. She remembers her father's unrequited love for her, her melancholy mother and her brittle and argumentative aunt Kitty, and how everyone, somehow, was guarding a secret. None more so than the impossibly beautiful Rose. And in her childhood innocence, between snatches of misunderstood conversations, Cecily helps set in motion a chain of devastating events. Wandering through the family home twenty-nine years later, Cecily hopes to lay some ghosts to rest but the past has yet to give up some shocking secrets...
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.
A highly accomplished, atmospheric novel set on the Suffolk coast in 1939, this follows young Cecily Maudsley and the terrible events that would forever shape her life and others’. As the stifling summer continues and the threat of war grows ever greater, the Mauds-leys and their local friends the Molinellos prepare for an end-of-season tennis party and dance at the Maudsley home, Palmyra House. Feeling left out of her beautiful older sister Rose’s more grown-up world, Cecily watches and waits, noting comings and goings, overhearing conversations; but despite innocent intent her observations and eavesdropping will have fatal consequences.
PRAISE FOR THE AUTHOR:
'Tearne charts the patterns of love and loss with beautiful prose
The Sunday Times
'A tender, unconventional love story unfolds, until tragedy intervenes... she has a wonderful ability to create atmosphere'
'Beautifully atmospheric writing, deeply moving and thought-provoking'
Books Quarterly (Waterstones)
Publication date: 10/04/2015
Publisher: Nova an imprint of Hesperus Press Ltd
|Publication date:||10th April 2015|
|Publisher:||Nova an imprint of Hesperus Press Ltd|
|Genres:||Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction,|
Roma Tearne is a Sri Lankan born novelist and film maker living in the UK. She left Sri Lanka with her family, at the start of the civil unrest during the 1960s. She trained as a painter & filmmaker at the Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford and then was Leverhulme artist in residence at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Subsequently she was awarded an AHRC Fellowship and worked for three years in museums around Europe on a project accessing narrative within the collections. She has written six novels. Her fifth, The Road To Urbino was published by Little Brown in ...More About Roma Tearne