Cora, Countess de Chevalier de Saint Léger, now an old lady has returned to England in the long hot summer of 1911. Cora has spent the previous sixty years in Paris and Rome visiting `home’ only occasionally. Having been urged when she left England’s shores by her Aunt Frances to look forwards and never back there is clearly a secret to be discovered the question is that will Cora ever reveal what it is?
I enjoyed the writing in this book, loved the descriptions of the small rural village of Bramley during 1911 when a young neighbour Cecily Chadwick is entranced by Cora’s only relative, her grandson, Jack. Unfortunately by the end of the 372 pages of being drip-fed tit bits of information about Cora’s husbands, lovers, children and friends and enemies I no longer cared about the secret as I didn’t care about Cora. I thought the most interesting and realistically drawn character was Sylvia, Cora’s oldest friend, who was in Bramley to write her memoirs.
This is a story about loss, Cora had one great passion in her life that was never fulfilled and her memory was clouded by the re-writing of her history which meant that the stories she had told over the years had to be unpicked to reveal the beginning. The nature of this tale means that there is a lot of flitting backwards and forwards over the years, Judith Kinghorn handled this well which meant that it was easy to follow the storyline. I’m sure I would have enjoyed this book more if I had some sympathy for Cora but she never really came to life for me.
I received this book through the Amazon Vine Programme.
- July 2013 Wrap-Up (momwithabook.com)