Susan Lewis is on top form in an emotionally charged and powerful novel which lifts the lid on families torn apart by tragedy, and forced to live their lives in the shadow of past events.
Renowned for her compassionate, intelligent and grittily authentic stories, Lewis is never afraid to tackle thorny social issues but her compelling books are always underpinned by a firm belief in the eternal values of love, loyalty and friendship, and the central role of family.
Why has Justine Cantrell suddenly changed her name, abandoned Matt, the husband she loves, and a successful business in England to start a new life in a remote town in Indiana many thousands of miles away?
With her four-year-old daughter Lula in tow, Justine has made her way to her late grandmother’s home town of Culver near picturesque Lake Maxinkuckee where she hopes for a fresh start and a chance to heal her broken heart in the beautiful surroundings.
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Despite a mysterious hostility from some of the townspeople, Justine soon finds friends and settles into the peaceful community but she is haunted by the past and lives with the constant fear that her true identity may be revealed.
It seems an ocean may not be enough to protect Justine from the devastating secrets that drove her away, and when she starts investigating her late grandmother’s family history, she discovers that she is not the only Cantrell with something to hide…
One cannot fail to be moved by this heart-wrenching and sensitively written story which encompasses events on both sides of the Atlantic and weaves past and present, mystery and suspense, as we slowly but surely uncover Justine’s terrible secrets.
Lewis delves deep into the hearts, minds and conflicting emotions of her characters, sweeping us into some shocking revelations, and creating a thought-provoking and poignant tale which resonates long after the last page has turned.
(Century, hardback, £9.99)