Melanie Dobson has become one of my go-to authors. Whether it’s a story about the mob, WWII or 1800s, her writing is captivating and plot lines intriguing. The trend continues with her newest release!
When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.
Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.
Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.
How often do we think we know what’s best for us or for those we love? But often, the best isn’t what happens, instead decisions made carry on, the effects rippling through generations. Dobson portrays this with an adept hand and I found myself completely enthralled in the story.
Plus the mystery, the connections, the realizations…all of it combined for a wonderful read.
I thought the characters and their development was one of the strongest parts of the novel. Through her writing, you understood their pains, their regrets and their struggles. I also thought Dobson did a wonderful job with Libby’s character and what she was dealing with (being on the autism spectrum before science and society understood it).
There’s many layers to the characters and the story, all showing the power forgiveness, redemption and love.
What’s a generational family story you really enjoyed?
(Thank you to Litfuse and Howard Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)