Description of the book
Four motherless sisters, raised by a distant father in a crumbling, ivy-choked country estate. A terrible war on the horizon that will tear an ancient family apart.
Stratford-upon-Avon, 1940. Rosalind Arden, born into one of the oldest families in England, has grown up running wild through the walled gardens and secret passages of historic Arden House, known to have once been frequented by Shakespeare himself. But centuries of squandered wealth have left the family destitute, and Papa Arden plans to replenish the coffers by securing hasty marriages to the highest bidder for Rosalind and her sisters. Passionate and headstrong, Rosalind is quickly running out of ways to avoid this fate.
But then war comes to England, and not even Arden House can remain untouched. As food shortages grip the villages and England is shrouded by black-outs, Rosalind is unexpectedly swept into the orbit of soft-spoken aspiring architect Guy Thompson… just weeks before he’s sent to fight. Heartbroken, Rosalind knows she can’t return to the golden prison of Arden. With little more than a leather-bound book of Shakespeare in tow – a secret bequest from her mother – she runs away to London. There, she throws herself into the war effort, photographing the heart-wrenching aftermath of the blitz – building a life for herself she never thought possible.
Until death comes to Arden and Rosalind is called home to devastating news. With Guy having inexplicably cut contact and her father on the edge of ruin, Rosalind must choose between the life she has made for herself and saving her beautiful, broken Arden House, home to the man who has only ever tried to bend her to his will…
A heartbreaking and unforgettable story full of mystery that will have you reaching for the tissues. Perfect for anyone who loves Fiona Valpy, Lucinda Riley and Dinah Jefferies.
What readers are saying about Juliet Greenwood:
“I really loved this book – I picked it up to read on a sunny afternoon in the garden and read it in a single sitting, swept away into the world the author created. This is my new favourite from this very talented author, and I recommend it most highly.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
“A story of female solidarity and friendship, brilliantly written… What I love about Juliet Greenwood’s books is the way her fiction is set in the past yet feels so very contemporary. She creates stories around timeless issues that never fail to strike a chord, and her books quickly draw you in and are really hard to put down.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
“A truly lovely read.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
“Top-notch historical fiction in the tradition of Sarah Waters or Tracey Chevalier… This book is authentic historical fiction… Highly recommended… Not enough stars.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
“I adored this book from Juliet Greenwood, a wonderful heroine, a gorgeous landscape and a plot to carry you away.” Faith Hogan, bestselling author of The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club
“Absolutely loved it' Heidi Swain, bestselling author of The Secrets Seaside Escape
“This book is well written and so descriptive that you can imagine yourself there... I highly recommend this book it’s a great read.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars