The blurb: Sisters Alice and Natalie were once close, but adolescence has wrenched them apart. Alice is a dreamer who loves books and birds; Natalie is headstrong, manipulative – and beautiful. On their lakeside family holiday, Alice falls under the thrall of a struggling young painter,Thomas Bayber. Natalie, however, seems strangely unmoved, tolerating sittings for a family portrait with surprising indifference. But by the end of the summer, three lives are shattered.
Decades later, Thomas, now a world-renowned artist, reveals the existence of a portrait of himself with Alice and Natalie from that fateful summer. The sisters themselves have disappeared without a trace. And Thomas is torn between taking the secrets of the girls to the grave, or using the painting to resurrect the past before it closes up on them all for good…
My review: This is a beautiful book as artfully told as the artist’s story it contains. I found it utterly enchanting. Slightly slow to kick off, you are immediately transported to a cabin by a lake in a hot hazy summer. You can picture the scene and the mysterious new neighbor that captures the girls imagination. Ideally I’d of liked more of this part of the book, it was over too quickly, with too few clues on what had happened.
The story follows various characters all drawn to the inevitable conclusion like moths. The hunt for a valuable piece of art – split into three pieces – depicting the main three characters trapped in an emotional wrestling match.
It’s haunting and lovely, so many times whilst reading I felt such curiousity to know what could’ve possibly happened to the characters to lead them off to such different places. Having a sister myself it was poignant to see how hurtful they could be to each other. Alice is an endearing heroine that you can’t help but warm too and her side of the tale was the one I grew most interested in.
This is a lovely book well worth a read if you like family mysteries.
8 out of 10 stars!
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