Will Rees is adjusting to life on his Maine farm in 1797, but he’s already hungering for the freedom of the road, and his chance to travel comes sooner than he expects. Lydia has just received a letter from her old friend Mouse, a soft-spoken and gentle woman who now lives in the Shaker community in Mount Unity, New York. To Lydia and Rees’s astonishment, she’s in trouble with the law. She’s kidnapped five children, claiming that their mother, Maggie Whitney, is unfit to care for them.
Despite the wintry weather and icy roads, Rees and Lydia set out for New York, where they sadly conclude that Mouse is probably right and the children would be better off with her. There’s nothing they can do for Mouse legally, though, and they reluctantly set out for home. But before they’ve travelled very far, they receive more startling news: Maggie Whitney has been found murdered, and Mouse is the prime suspect.
In Cradle to Grave, Eleanor Kuhns returns with the clever plotting, atmospheric historical detail, and complexly drawn characters that have delighted fans and critics in her previous books.
When Rees heard the buggy rattle up the drive, he left his loom and went downstairs to meet his wife of two months in the kitchen. Lydia had thrown her cloak over a kitchen chair and was intent upon the letter in her hand. Her mouth was trembling. He hurried to her side and put his arm around her shoulders.
“What happened?” he asked. “Is it bad news?”
“Nothing like that,” she said, brandishing the letter. “It’s from the Elders at Zion.”
Rees smiled. Zion was the Shaker community in Maine where