Orion, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
Reviewed by Joan Burton
n 1902, Caroline Fitzpatrick, a New York heiress, marries Corin Massey, a cattle rancher from Oklahoma. Despite her Aunt Bathilda's warnings, Caroline heads west to begin her new life. She finds herself in a strange land she does not understand, and she cannot adjust to the isolation or the native Indians working for her husband. Filled with anxiety and unhappiness Caroline begins to withdraw into herself.
hen a tragedy occurs on the ranch, Caroline commits a terrible act out of loneliness and despair. She flees back to New York City, leaving her old life behind. Not knowing all the facts of her niece's life, Bathilda introduces Caroline to an English aristocrat, Henry Alcott. They marry and move to England where Caroline becomes the Lady of Storton Manor, in Wiltshire. Caroline quickly learns that even after crossing the Atlantic, her troubles can catch up with her. The act she has committed will forever affect future generations of Calcotts.
n 2008, after the death of their grandmother, Erica Calcott and her sister Beth, return to Storton Manor where they spent many summers when they were children. The manor has been willed to them, so they begin to sort through the rooms and the attic. Looking at old photos has Erica flooded with childhood memories, including those of Dinny, a young boy on whom she had a crush. She also remembers her spiteful cousin Henry, who disappeared and ripped the family apart.
rica tries desperately to remember what happened to Henry and sets out to uncover the truth. She is reunited with Dinny, and finds she is still attracted to him, even though it is twenty three years later. Haunted by suspicions, Erica digs deep into her memory, visits people and places from her past, and discovers a shocking truth.
is told in dual narratives -Caroline's story in 1902; and that of her great granddaughters, Erica and Beth. Each chapter ends with a cliffhanger that will have readers turning pages, anxious to find out the Calcott family secret. This is an amazing, well written debut novel.
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