From Publishers Harper Collins
I read this book with some trepidation as it seems to have divided other reviewers into two distinct camps, those that enjoy it and those that are bored to tears with the expansive historical background, disguised as a learned husband introducing a new younger, less experienced wife to his life.. I have to admit for my part that it did take a fair amout of time to really get into it's stride. Part of this seems to be the author's insistence on getting as much Cornish history into the book as possible and whilst the setting of an ancestral home mainatained on the proceeds of the mining industry was definitely atmospheric and did indeed add plot points to the story.
This is the story of a second wife coming to a bleak isolated, but beautiful landscape to mother a child in pain and grieving hard( who may or may not be gifted with seeing the future through an ancient family mythical second sight). who gradually starts to believe the story she had been fed about her Husband's first wife is not as cut and dried as it first seems. This is a story of three perspectives, Jamie's is always shaded from the reader, always slightly obscured. David and Rachel both have deep wells of secrets.
The plot is twisty and eerie and I enjoyed never quite knowing what ailed young Jamie, whether he actually did have a second sight. I never really warmed to David even in the opening that sets him up at the sophisticated perfect man, so I found myself disliking him almost from the start, but I was pleased to discover this was not your run of the mill "Rebecca" story. Du Maurier was always going to be a spectre at the feast in any novel set here afterall .
The revelations during the searing finale chapters weres indeed a surprise and for that I can say that overally this was a fine tale.
I did not feel the pictures preceding each chapter did anything to move the narrative and in fact rather jarred me out of the flow of the story as I perused the admittedly beautiful images, but I think they had a place, just that perhaps they might have been better served by including a Historical notes section at the story's end and annotating each photograph with the setting and its connection to the story. This is a small complaint however and I would definitely seek out more books by S.K. Tremayne.