Author: Christopher Tilghman
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book
The year is 1936, and the world is on the brink of war. American expatriot Edward Mason, owner of a failing machine factory, is fighting more private battles. In the face of defeat, he abandons his adopted home in England in order to reclaim his inheritance on Maryland's Eastern Shore---a ruinous, thousand-acre estate known ominously as Mason's Retreat. Edward, his wife, Edith, and their two young sons struggle to adjust to life in this strange and storied place. But with war drawing closer, England's hasty rearmament offers Edward a chance to revive the factory, and he returns alone to lead his company. Meanwhile, his wife and sons are left to make their own fortunes. When an unsigned letter informs Edward of where those fortunes have led, he hastens back, an ill-fated move that will have devastating consequences for everyone involved.
Haunted, moving, and masterfully written, "Christopher Tilghman's deeply remembered novel is a loyal testament to history---to the lure and bind of family, to the earth that spat us out and receives us unquestionably again" (Gail Caldwell, The Boston Sunday Globe).