In the spring of 1950, Coral Glynn arrives at an isolated mansion in the English countryside to nurse the elderly Edith Hart. There, Coral meets Hart House’s odd inhabitants: Mrs. Prence, the perpetually disgruntled housekeeper, and Major Clement Hart, her charge’s war-ravaged son. When a child’s game goes violently awry in the nearby woods, a great shadow—love, perhaps—descends upon its residents. Other seemingly random events—a torn dress, a missing ring, a lost letter—propel Coral and Clement precipitously into the mysterious thicket of marriage.
Written with his unique sense of wit and empathy, Peter Cameron’s brilliant novel is a stunning exploration of how need and desire can blossom into love—and just as quickly transform into something less categorical.