Life at Charnley was blessed, or at least so it seemed to the Jardine children. But one night their dreams of a propitious future suddenly come crashing down when a family scandal catapults them into the headlines.
Nearly four decades pass and the Second World War is won, but still the exact events of that fateful night remain unknown. However, when builders working on Charnley uncover a shoebox stuffed full of old letters, photographs, and a diary, it finally seems as though some of the answers are within reach.
The clue to unraveling the affair lies in a voyage to Egypt undertaken by Beatrice eleven years before her disappearance. With the help of her old diary, Beatrice's three daughters set about uncovering the truth. But when the mummified body of a brutally murdered woman is discovered in the ruins of their old home, they have a whole new set of questions.
Beautifully written, evoking the life of the Edwardian upper classes, bomb-scarred, post war England, and the sultry Egyptian landscape, The Shape of Sand proclaims the incomparable talent of this great author.