A runaway bestseller in Britain with over 100,000 copies sold, a riveting historical mystery in the tradition of Kate Morton
Auction house appraiser Jude leaves London for her dream job at Starbrough Hall, an estate in the countryside, examining and pricing the manuscripts and instruments of an eighteenth-century astronomer. She is welcomed by Chantal Wickham and Jude feels close to the old woman at once: they have both lost their husbands. Hard times have forced the Wickham family to sell the astronomer's work, their land and with it, the timeworn tower that lies nearby. The tower was built as an observatory for astronomer Anthony Wickham and his daughter Esther, and it served as the setting for their most incredible discoveries.
Though Jude is far away from her life in London, her arrival at Starbrough Hall brings a host of childhood memories. She meets Euan, a famed writer and naturalist who lives in the gamekeeper's cottage at the foot of the tower, where Jude's grandfather once lived. And a nightmare begins to haunt her six-year-old niece, the same nightmare Jude herself had years ago. Is it possible that the dreams are passed down from one generation to the next? What secrets does the tower hold? And will Jude unearth them before it's too late?
How tiny and random are the events that shape our destiny.
By the time she left for the office the next morning, Jude had almost forgotten her dream. Waiting for the train at Greenwich station, the sudden wail of a toddler brought back fragments of her distress, but by the time she reached Bond Street these too were displaced by other, more mundane worries. She had no sense that something important was about to happen, something that on the face of it was quite insignificant.
It was Friday lunchtime in the Books and Manuscripts department of Beecham’s