by Kate Riordan
In 1933, young Alice (22 years old) finds herself in a predicament: she is pregnant. She is not married, and the father of her child is. To Alice’s mother, this situation means one thing—scandal. She decides to send Alice to the country for the duration of her pregnancy. Once the baby is born, he/she will be put up for adoption.
Alice’s mother contacts an old friend, Edith, who welcomes Alice to Fiercombe Manor. Once there, Alice senses something strange and/or wrong. This is where our story becomes interesting. . .
Thirty years ago, another resident of Fiercombe Manor was pregnant. Elizabeth Stanton struggled with her pregnancy and the subsequent ailment now known as post-partum depression. As Alice learns the details of Elizabeth’s story, she worries that perhaps her pregnancy is also doomed.
The two stories are told in alternating chapters. Though the tone is quite somber, this is a very compelling read. Readers want to know just what happened to Elizabeth, as well as what will happen to Alice.
I would recommend this novel to fans of Kate Morton, a master of the “then and now” genre.