She followed because she could. Sneaking out of the house, leaving the front door ajar. Running across the verandah, down the stone steps, past the ute to the very back of the house where she stopped short. There, framing a trail that led into rainforest, was a stone archway, shaped into a perfect circle, just like the door that led to the tower.Chapter 2, Page 18
In a nutshell
This multi timeline novel begins in 1939 with English heiress Grace Grey travelling from London to Tasmania to be shielded from war. As she acclimates to her new environment with the help of her Irish neighbor Daniel, she slowly withdraws from her shell and learns to live. When Australian forces are called to the frontline taking Daniel with them, her future is irrevocably changed.
Fast forward to 1975, an anonymous benefactor leaves artist willow and her new husband Ben a house on the remote Tasmanian coast. Excited to explore their confusing inheritance, they unwittingly begin to unmask the secrets of the previous owner altering the course of their lives.
29 years later, Libby is in search of learning more about her father Ben. Dead before she was born, she’s been shielded all her life from everything related to him. When she travels to London to retrieve the last items he had on him, she uncovers a long-buried memory and is compelled to take over the investigation Ben was trying to uncover.
Book Club Notes
This is quite a chunky novel that was compelling from the beginning. I couldn’t put it down and when I wasn’t able to complete all 495 pages in one weekend, I couldn’t wait to carve out some more reading time to find out what happens next.
I wouldn’t classify this book as a must-read knockout, there wasn’t a moment that stood out as profound or exceptional. However, the story line was interesting and well written. Despite the elements of predictability there were enough twisty punches to keep you on your toes. The layering of pieces as the book progressed was done very well and the historical elements gave the book fantastic bone structure. Out of all the six novels I’ve read in the last month this was hands down the best.
You love historical fiction, dual timelines and slow story layering.
Writing – 8/10
Character Development – 9/10
Plot Twist – 7/10
Shareability – 8/10
The Nitty Gritty
A note on our book ratings
Storyline: How good is the storyline? Is it believable and complex or does it make you shake your head in its ridiculousness?
Writing: How well written is the book? Do you find yourself wowed by the writing or unimpressed?
Character Development: Do the characters evolve and grow through the book and are they multi-dimensional?
Plot Twist: Were you able to predict the end, or did the author give you some surprises along the way to keep you on your toes?
Shareability: How likely are you to share the book?