From the author of The Inheritance and Secret Relations comes a Romeo and Juliet tale centering on a wonderful old English ancestral home that had once been a Cistercian abbey.
Almost a year on from the loss of their precious abbey, the Delancey family remains devastated. The abbey had been the uninterrupted home of Delanceys since the sixteenth century. To compound the insult, they have lost it to their archenemies: the family of their old gardener, Stanley Trafford---who was dismissed and evicted, along with his family, by Laura’s grandfather Edmund in 1947. But now Stanley’s son is a millionaire, intent on avenging his father. . . . Stanley Trafford and Edmund Delancey were boyhood friends. When both men married, just before the war, the couples became inseparable, with the two women---Hester and Effie---offering comfort to each other while their husbands fought in the same regiment. So what really happened on that fateful morning in 1947, to poison their friendship for nearly forty years? This magical story follows two warring families---the Traffords and the Delanceys---over the course of one devastating year, in which old secrets catch them up and turn everything upside down.
“Annabel Dilke’s sharp eye for the absurdities and cruelties of the British class system . . . a beautifully written and subtle story of secrets and lies.”---Elizabeth Buchan, author of Wives Behaving Badly and Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman
Praise for Secret Relations
“An unsentimental gem, an absorbing portrait of an upper-class English family beset by changes.”---The Boston Globe
“Dilke’s novel will appeal to those who love tales of British bloodlines.”---Booklist
Praise for The Inheritance
“The book is about making youthful mistakes that lose their reckless appeal over time, leaving those in middle age with more melancholic regrets than appealing memories. . . breathtaking.”---The Washington Post
“A dollhouse family come to life . . . The gods have stopped smiling, and the little dollhouse world is turned upside down. The fun is watching where everyone lands.”---The New York Times