From the author of The Personal History of Rachel Dupree, shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers and longlisted for the Orange Prize.
1900. Young pianist Catherine Wainwright flees the fashionable town of Dayton, Ohio in the wake of a terrible scandal. Heartbroken and facing destitution, she finds herself striking up correspondence with a childhood admirer, the recently widowed Oscar Williams. In desperation she agrees to marry him, but when Catherine travels to Oscar's farm on Galveston Island, Texas—a thousand miles from home—she finds she is little prepared for the life that awaits her. The island is remote, the weather sweltering, and Oscar's little boy Andre is grieving hard for his lost mother. And though Oscar tries to please his new wife, the secrets of the past sit uncomfortably between them.
Meanwhile for Nan Ogden, Oscar’s housekeeper, Catherine’s sudden arrival has come as a great shock. For not only did she promise Oscar’s first wife that she would be the one to take care of little Andre, but she has feelings for Oscar which she is struggling to suppress. And when the worst storm in a generation descends, the women will find themselves tested as never before.
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Characters that draw you in
- Kevin Stokes
Beautifully written and read
This is a wonderful, historical narrative suitable for readers who enjoy character-driven stories. The disriptions of time and place, 1900 in Galveston, Texas, are beautifully and vividly written.
This is a sweet, sad, but realistically told story. I appreciated that the ending was right even if it wasn't nessecarily a happy one.
The narration is excellent, although the reader did seem to use one voice for all of the adult male characters. She did an excellent job of voicing the (2) female narrators, Katherine and Nan.
- Ruth Bain