In the gloriously hot summer of 1936, a group of people meet at a country house party. Within three years, the country will be engulfed in war, but for now time stands still as they sip champagne on the lawn, engaging in casual flirtations and carefree conversation. Then a shocking death puts an end to their revelry, changing everything in an instant. For all of them, that summer house party will be a turning point. The mistakes made during that fateful weekend will change their lives for ever.
When Flossy Merrill summons her children to the beloved family beach house to celebrate their father’s eightieth birthday, both cherished memories and long-kept secrets come to light in this charming and lyrical novel from the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer. Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own. No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves. Featuring McKinnon’s “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) voice, this warm-hearted novel is perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe.
Revealing herself as the illegitimate daughter of a recently deceased English lord, young Frenchwoman Phaedra gradually overcomes her outraged relatives' frosty reception, only to have her position threatened by a forbidden passion.
In the small inlaid wooden box, Matt's mother had kept all his childhood memories. Amongst them are many photos of Matt as a child, growing up. But something about the photos has always puzzled Matt - was that really him? Why did he not remember those clothes? The toys? And where, in the photos, was his sister Imogen? He has a strange unresolved feeling that there is something missing in his life. Imogen is living with her husband, a country vet, and their gorgeous baby in a rented cottage. Since her childhood she has loved the Summer House, a charming folly in the grounds of her oldest friends' beautiful and ancient house on Exmoor, and now they have the chance of buying. But her marriage is threatened when her husband refuses to live so far from his practice. Meanwhile, Matt begins to discovers the strange and tragic secret which has affected his whole life . . . Praise for Marcia Willett: 'A genuine voice of our times' The Times 'Riveting, moving and utterly feel-good' Daily Mail
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Originally published in 2007, Kate Morton's debut novel, The House at Riverton, went on to sell a million copies in the UK alone and won the Richard and Judy Book Club Best Read of the Year. This special tenth anniversary edition of Kate Morton's acclaimed debut features a special foreword from the author. Summer 1924: On the eve of a glittering Society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again. Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, 98, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and memories, long-consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind, begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge; something history has forgotten but Grace never could.