An exploration of domestic derangement, as sinister as Daphne Du Maurier’s classic Rebecca, that plumbs the depths of sibling rivalry with wit and menace.
Oh, to be a Beloved—one of those lucky people for whom nothing ever goes wrong. Everything falls into their laps without effort: happiness, beauty, good fortune, allure.
Betty Stash is not a Beloved—but her little sister, the delightful Gloria, is. She’s the one with the golden curls and sunny disposition and captivating smile, the one whose best friend used to be Betty’s, the one whose husband should have been Betty’s. And then, to everyone’s surprise, Gloria inherits the family manse—a vast, gorgeous pile of ancient stone, imposing timbers, and lush gardens—that was never meant to be hers.
Losing what Betty considers her rightful inheritance is the final indignity. As she single-mindedly pursues her plan to see the estate returned to her in all its glory, her determined and increasingly unhinged behavior—aided by poisonous mushrooms, talking walls, and a phantom dog—escalates to the point of no return. The Beloveds will have you wondering if there’s a length to which an envious sister won’t go.
Elizabeth "Betty" Stash, the narrator of this disturbing, darkly funny portrait of barely contained madness from British author Lindley (A Girl Like You), plots revenge when her late mother leaves Pipits, her childhood home in the quaint village of Cold-Upton, outside of London, to her beautiful, kind younger sister, Gloria, whom she deeply loathes. Gloria was always their mother's favorite, a fact keenly felt by Betty, leading her to label Gloria a Beloved: "loved and admired, lucky in love, lucky in everything." In addition, Gloria married Betty's boyfriend Henry Bygone, and now they're living in her house, tearing down walls, and destroying her memories. Betty will do anything to get Pipits back, neglecting her charming, much older husband, Bert, and their London art gallery in the process, and she'll employ murderous tactics to do it. Lindley keeps the tension humming all the way to a deliciously satisfying finale. The droll voice of the outrageous, tenacious Betty will entrance readers who may find themselves rooting for her as she feverishly schemes to take down anyone in her way.