Forbidden love, family secrets, murder, mystery… these themes and more are present and repeated in the dual time frames – brilliant.
Simon & Schuster (Australia)
Simon & Schuster Australia
From the bestselling author of Thornwood House
When all that you know comes crashing down, do you run? Or face the truth?
Ruby Cardel has the semblance of a normal life – a loving boyfriend, a fulfilling career – but in one terrible moment, her life unravels. The discovery that the death of her sister, Jamie, was not an accident makes her question all she’s known about herself and her past.
Travelling back home to Lyrebird Hill, Ruby begins to remember the year that has been forever blocked in her memory . . . Snatches of her childhood with beautiful Jamie, and Ruby’s only friendship with the boy from the next property, a troubled foster kid.
Then Ruby uncovers a cache of ancient letters from a long-lost relative, Brenna Magavin, written from her cell in a Tasmanian gaol where she is imprisoned for murder. As she reads, Ruby discovers that her family line is littered with tragedy and violence.
Slowly, the gaps in Ruby’s memory come to her. And as she pieces together the shards of truth, what she finally discovers will shock her to the core – about what happened to Jamie that fateful day, and how she died.
A thrilling tale about family secrets and trusting yourself.
Ms Romer writes with a beautiful, sweet and seductive voice. This narrative is a multi-faceted story of love, revenge, family secrets and murder that offers the reader two parallel stories that are slowly revealed in alternating chapters. The writing is lush and the settings leap out from the page in three dimensional glory. You can hear the bush come alive, you can see the vibrant colours of the flora and fauna, you will smell the smoke of the camp fires and you too will wonder if you are catching glimpses of movement, shadows moving in the corner of your mind’s eye…this is mesmerising, evocative reading.
Along with ability of being able to create wonderful settings, Ms Romer has gifted the reader two powerful female protagonists, Brenna, who lived in the late 1800’s and Ruby who lives in today’s modern world. You will grow to love these characters and many others including The Wolf (did I mention Ms Romer weaves a thread of fairy tales into her stories – in this one we catch glimpses of Beauty and the Beast or rather a Wolf in this reincarnation of the tale). There is so much to enjoy in this book it begs reading a second time to absorb more of the atmosphere and subtle details.
This is a wonderful mesmerising read on par with her earlier debut novel Thornwood House – another stunning mystery that will engage all your senses with its rich and sumptuous prose.
I loved that we just happened to be staying in the area that this book is sited – what a remarkable coincidence.
Oh, Carol, that is terrific that you were staying where the novel takes place. Such a powerful way to experience a story I think. And it sounds as though this is really well-done novel. I do like the unreliable narrator when it’s done well (just what exactly does she remember?), and the connection between past and present. Sounds like a very solid novel.
Margot -there is something about being in an area a book is written about…magical and a great coincidence.
Sounds great! Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be available over here yet, but I’ll stick it on the list to remind myself to keep checking… 🙂
I hope you enjoy her earlier book, it is worth looking out for too.
Oddly, it’s not available here either – though the audiobook version is. I wonder if there’s some kind of problem with getting them published over here. Quite often Australian books seem hard to come by, and very expensive when they are available.
Must be to do with copyright/regions…who narrates the audio book?
Eloise Oxer apparently. Never heard of her – have you?
I just looked her up – she has had roles in a few Australian films but I haven’t come across her before. I wonder if she reads this with a strong Australian accent?
For some reason this didn’t originally interest me but you’ve tempted me!
Have you read her earlier one? That was good too.
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