The one thing I absolutely loved about this book was how it came full circle effortlessly. Although being told from three (sometimes more) perspective the narrative is so seamless and flow so well that at the end I was left with this overwhelming feeling of fulfillment. I felt as if I was a part of the story, an agent in the unraveling of the secret from the very beginning. I loved how the author was able to take the reader from war torn England, to present day back to an era when the characters were teenagers and again to far out Australia to show Vivien as a child. I also loved how Morton was able to capture the landscape and character of the Smitham farm house. The house from where the story began.
A seven year old girl witnessed a murder from the View of her tree house and kept it a secret until her mother lay dying several years later. Laurel, now a grown woman , upon visiting her dying mother in the hospital was forced to recall that fateful day when her mother, Dorothy killed the man with the cake knife. Laurel got the urge to solve the mystery when Dorothy started to mumble in her sleep about forgiveness and calling for people in her past. Laurel believe the only way to know the truth about that day was to research her mother’s past, who exactly was Dorothy Smitham before she married their father, before she was given that second chance at life. The story journeys to wartime London in the 1940s, two young women by the name of Dorothy and Vivien Jenkins and a young photographer named James Metcalf.
By finding out her mother’s past, the reader learns about these three individuals Dorothy, lost her family in the war and now works for a wealthy old woman across the street from Vivien and engaged to Jimmy (James). Vivien, was married to Henry Jenkins who at the start of the novel was murdered by Laurels mom. To reveal the truth and find out her mother’s past Laurel must learn the story of all the individuals and see what was the event that led to such a tragedy by the woman she held above all else.
Morton weaves a masterful story. It took me a while to finish this book but not from the lack of intrigue but mostly from my days getting in the way. The story in itself is so intricate and the characters are so clearly developed that you get the feeling that you know them personally. The surprise at the end is so pleasant that I’ve had a permanent smile on my face every time I remember finishing this book.
If you’re into solving mysteries and world war romances. If you like family values and moral of the story anecdotes then this is a definite read for you.