THE PEACOCK SUMMER
The premise of this novel is one we’ve seen before – grandchild returning to ancestral home to ailing grandparent, only to unravel deeply hidden secrets from the past – but its gorgeous cover will give it immediate appeal on bookshop shelves. So does the story stand up? Well, yes, it does. Maggie is the granddaughter returning to England from Australia after hearing that stepgrandma Lillian has taken ill. When Lillian is determined to go home to Cloudesley manor house after a spell in hospital, Maggie stays on to care for her, despite her own discomfort at being back in the village she had fled from in disgrace. Forced to face the mistakes of her past, Maggie also discovers that Cloudesley is in disrepair, and with no money to pay the bills it seems the only option is to sell. But how can she do that to frail Lillian? Then there is the mystery of what lies behind the tapestry-covered door her grandfather had always forbidden her to enter. As Lillian’s health teeters on the brink, the elderly woman is haunted by the memories of a summer from long ago, when love and tragedy both came calling – and thus the secrets begin to unfold.