The stunning novel from the million-copy Sunday Times bestseller
A RICHARD & JUDY BOOKCLUB PICK
The night before it all begins, Jude has the dream again . . .
Can dreams be passed down through families? As a child Jude suffered a recurrent nightmare: running through a dark forest, crying for her mother. Now her six-year-old niece, Summer, is having the same dream, and Jude is frightened for her.
A successful auctioneer, Jude is struggling to come to terms with the death of her husband. When she's asked to value a collection of scientific instruments and manuscripts belonging to Anthony Wickham, a lonely 18th century astronomer, she leaps at the chance to escape London for the untamed beauty of Norfolk, where she grew up.
As Jude untangles Wickham's tragic story, she discovers threatening links to the present. What have Summer's nightmares to do with Starbrough folly, the eerie crumbling tower in the forest from which Wickham and his adopted daughter Esther once viewed the night sky? With the help of Euan, a local naturalist, Jude searches for answers in the wild, haunting splendour of the Norfolk woods.
Dare she leave behind the sadness in her own life, and learn to love again?
Praise for Rachel Hore's novels:
‘A tour de force. Rachel's Paris is rich, romantic, exotic and mysterious’ JUDY FINNIGAN
‘An elegiac tale of wartime love and secrets’ Telegraph
‘A richly emotional story, suspenseful and romantic, but unflinching in its portrayal of the dreadful reality and legacy of war’ Book of the Week, Sunday Mirror
'Pitched perfectly for a holiday read' Guardian
'Engrossing, pleasantly surprising and throughly readable' SANTA MONTEFIORE
'A beautifully written and magical novel about life, love and family' CATHY KELLY
In her U.S. debut, Hore (The Glass Painter's Daughter) painstakingly builds the foundation of a 300-year-old mystery centered around an 18th-century astronomer and the strange observation deck from which he viewed the stars. Jude Gower, a book appraiser for London's Beecham's Auctioneers, is contacted by an 18th-century book enthusiast interested in selling his collection. She travels to Robert Wickham's estate in Norfolk, coincidentally home to her grandmother and sister, to review the tomes. Once there, she begins piecing together the history of the books, which include journals by Anthony Wickham, Robert's ancestor and an eccentric astronomer, who along with his adopted daughter, Esther, may have stumbled upon a planetary discovery. Sensing that this could increase the books' value, Jude digs deeper into the past, and unravels a world of Gypsies, ghosts, and possible murder at the scene of Wickham's folly a decrepit observatory in the woods. By dredging up long-kept secrets, is she putting her family in danger, or helping prevent it? Though bogged down by details, the plot catches fire in the last third, making the payoff almost worth the patience it took to get there.