Sweeping and insightful, Katharine Swartz’s new novel for lovers of moving fiction is a story of families, change, and creating a new life. It is a captivating read, and depicts the trials of creating a new home, a new family, and of starting again. It is a read to show you anew the reasons we are all in need of other, of family, and of a place to call home.
The stories of two women, 150 years apart, both struggling with creating a new family, are woven together into a powerful tapestry of the complex relationships that are found in the start of something new. These two new beginnings weave in and out of each other as the challenges of second changes, of starting a new family, are laid bare.
Ellen Tyson is in unfamiliar territory. Her comfortable village life with her husband Alex is turned upside down then, on her doorstep, arrives Annabelle. The teenaged daughter from Alex’s previous marriage, Annabelle is foul tempered, moody, and equally unhappy at this new situation as Ellen. Annabelle never asked for a new mother, and Ellen a new daughter: but now they both must learn to create a new family, along with Alex and Ellen’s own child. This is a mess.
Just as this new family are finding their own new shape, so is their home. Renovations to the house make this change even more tumultuous, but hidden amongst the floorboards is something that will change the lives of this family forever.
The death certificate of one Sarah Mills, who died over 150 years ago.
Orphaned, and with only her mute sister for family, Sarah is desperate for a home. So desperate that she accepts a home at the cost of marrying her deceased father’s friend, whose abuse and vile rage causes the women of the house to find solace in each other. No only Sarah and her sister, but also Sarah’s step-daughter who is utterly rejected by her father after being found to have been ‘disgraced’