THE PEA­COCK SUM­MER

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - BOOKS - by Han­nah Richell, Ha­chette

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.

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