What Lies Beneath
WRITER ELSPETH SANDYS was born during the Second World War, the result of a brief encounter between two people who would never meet again. The first nine months of her life were spent in the Truby King Karitane Hospital in Dunedin, where she was known as Frances Hilton James. With her adoption, a new birth certificate was issued and she became Elspeth Sandilands Somerville. Tom and Alice Somerville lived with their son John in Dunedin’s Andersons Bay. While Elspeth was happy among the ebullient and welcoming Somerville clan, she had a difficult relationship with her adoptive mother, who was frequently hospitalised with mental health problems. Elspeth’s search for her birth parents did not begin until much later in her adult life. What she discovered after an exhaustive search provided answers that were both disturbing and, ultimately, rewarding. What Lies Beneath is a searing, amusing, and never less than gripping tale of a difficult life, beautifully told.