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Publisher's Summary

"If I didn't spy, I'd be in the dark eternally. I live in a maze of unknowing, Maisie's maze, and I hate it. I need to be informed...." The summer of 1967, at a decaying house in the heart of Suffolk: an artist is painting a portrait of 13-year-old Maisie and her elder sisters, beautiful Julia and bookish Finn. Maisie embarks on a portrait of her own: she begins an account of her family and of her village friend Daniel Nunn, a young man she idolises, whom she watches over the chasm of a class divide. But is Maisie's description of a summer idyll all it seems? This is the summer when the three sisters' lives will irrevocably, and terribly, change. The winter of 1991, in London: the now-famous portrait of the three sisters features in a major retrospective. Daniel Nunn, haunted by the vanished England of his childhood, obsessed by the three sisters and newly determined to understand what happened that last summer, pursues the ghosts of his past.
©2005 Sally Beauman; (P)2005 Time Warner AudioBooks
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Critic Reviews

"Unashamedly romantic and readable....Beauman is a captivating and artful storyteller, capable of making us believe the unbelievable." (Guardian)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Hannah on 08-02-09


I got this book after listening to the audio of Beauman's other successful book Rebecca's Tale and style wise it is exactly the same. It is dark and unyeilding in its exploration of human relationships, people in love, people in trouble etc. And whilst Beauman manages to create this strong potent atmosphere and moving story and suck in the listener to the world she has created, I found myself constantly recoiling from it. Perhaps this was her intention or perhaps it is just my personal opinion but I found some of the brazen manipulative acts of the people in this book horrible and Beauman's implied use of mental illness in this book for one of the characters I felt was unnecessary and disgusting. I also have a hard time understanding the constanting shifting, fickleness and selfishness when it came to love and sex among the main characters. Again I think this is purely a personal setback of mine. Overall its not a bad book and Juliet Stevenson and Alex Jennings are fantastic readers and the book is absorbing and the story is like a mystery so it makes you want to listen on and find out what happens. I would recommend it but personally I found it average at best.

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