A modern-day archivist.
A World War II-era widow with three young children.
A world-renown cellist who died tragically young.
A penniless pick-pocket who catches the eye of a talented artist.
How are all of these women connected? To find out, you have to follow the beautiful but winding trail set by one of my very favorite authors, Kate Morton. The story is vast and complex and continues across multiple generations. At times, I was entirely lost amid the various narrators and plot threads. But the storytelling is woven together skillfully–and I never lost faith that the final picture would come together.
I’m left with an even stronger admiration of the author, a sorrow for the tragedies and heartbreaks chronicled in the story, and a vivid imagining of what comes next for the characters introduced.
My real name, no one remembers. The truth about that summer, no one else knows.
Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.
In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.
Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?