The bleak beauty of the whispering dunes, the jacquard of colour and texture of the marsh and a romantic tree in a secluded glade—The Trysting Tree—all seduce Dee. Nevertheless, the secretive behaviour of a handsome neighbour, lights across the marsh, a spurious squire and a bizarre, moonlit encounter all suggest there is something odd afoot.
Local gossip and crumbling graveyard inscriptions give Dee the opening she needs. She begins to weave hints about the tragic history of a local family, feuding brothers and a fatal fire into a sweeping historical saga. Her characters clamour for a voice as the tale spools effortlessly onto the page—demanding to be told. Dee feels more like its instrument than its instigator.
As she becomes enmeshed in the local community, Dee is startled to find her fiction unnervingly confirmed by fact, her history still resonating in the present-day.
Is she being guided by echoes of the past?
Another stunningly beautiful book from Allie Cresswell! The settings and characters quickly get under your skin and the story just absorbs you, which means it's very difficult to put down as you just want to keep on reading!!
The author in the story, Dee, has faced highs and lows in a very short space of time and now needs time to recharge and refocus. So she travels to the back of beyond for that time and soon finds herself under the spell of the local area, and all those who live there. The more she uncovers from the local gossips, the more it inspires her to write her new book about characters of the past, and it almost begins to feel like she is experiencing their story herself.
With a dual timeline, we get to read the story she creates and it centres around Todd, who lived in the village from the turn of the century and life was hard, especially on the farm where he had to work from a very young age. What follows on is a very dramatic life with sibling rivalry, unrequited love - really emotional goings on, both then and in the now as Dee learns more about her neighbour and his father.
I loved this story. There is so much to take on but you feel part of these characters lives as you see them unfold, amidst scandal and unresolved resentments with emotions being bottled up, and taken out in the wrong circumstances and towards the wrong people.
Emotional, evocative and a pure joy from first page to last!