Friday, 25 July 2008

A Hidden Life - Adèle Geras

The lovely Adèle Geras was kind enough to send me a copy of A Hidden Life after reading on here how much I enjoyed Facing the Light earlier this year.

From the blurb - "When Constance Barrington dies, she leaves behind a wealthy estate and a complex family network. But when the whole family gathers to hear her last will and testament, they are in for a terrible shock. Constance - possessed of a long memory and a spiteful disposition - altered her will shortly before her death. The new provisions are far from fair; some benefit hugely and others hardly at all. Constance's granddaughter, Louise, is bequeathed the copyright for her late grandfather's novels.

Soon, old family feuds and long-hidden resentments come to the surface, and with them, secrets start to emerge. But it is through Louise's inheritance - those dusty, long-forgotten books - that the most explosive secret of all will come to light, bringing with it a very different future for her and the rest of the family."

This is a family saga in the best of the tradition - plenty of internal politics with shifting alliances, shifting point of view narrative, greedy battles over money with a mystery at its heart. The main thread, or maybe that's just me, was Lou's re-reading and exploration of one of her grandfather's books, Blind Moon, and the untangling of fact from fiction as we learned more about his life.

It's a book that once started was almost impossible to put down... so I didn't and greedily devoured it in one day. Definitely a book for reading in the sunshine whilst we attempt to enjoy the English "summer".

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