Dec 9, 2011
Author: Katherine Webb
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins
This is a fascinating tale of generations twisted by life's disappointments. Soaring between New York City and the vast empty settlement areas of the Midwest in the early 1900s to present day England, this story follows four generations of Calcott's through love, loss, abandonment and the mental ruination of three of those generations, with the fourth close on their heels.
I do believe that if Katherine had wanted to she could have pulled a hearty Thorn Birds-ish tome out of this story, but she keeps it condensed and streamlined, which also makes the plot march along at a nice smart pace.
I will say that a good half of the characters in this book are completely unlikable. One of the main characters from the early 1900s - Caroline - her I just itched to smack. A more useless and self-serving creature I have not yet come across. And she, I might add, is the start to the downfall of the entire Calcott clan.
In the present day we have Erica and her sister Beth trying to overcome mysterious tragedies of their youth that are hindering Beth's return to good mental health and at the same time unravel the mysteries of Caroline's past to find explanations for why their family is so cold and unloving.
The book has a very interesting and unexpected twist at the end - totally unexpected and rather ingenious really.