Marcia Willett takes readers once again to England's charming West Country for this extended family tale of deception, cover-up, and the inevitable revelation of secrets long buried.
Paradise is the stately home in Cornwall that is home to the elderly Honor Trevannion. As she is dying, she begs her granddaughter Joss to find a cache of letters written when Honor was a young woman. Joss reads the letters and is shocked by their revelations that change forever how she sees herself and her position in the Trevannion family. The letters, reprinted in full, are the most exciting part of the novel as the story they tell far surpasses the one the novel is about. I can only wish Ms. Willett had made the story told in the letters the basis of the novel rather than the story she chose to tell, that of the uncovering of the letters and their message fifty years after the facts.
Joss' mother, Emma, as well as her Uncle Bruno and an assortment of cousins who live on the grounds add to the tale, but it is a young American on a trip to find his great-aunt that propels the plot and brings startling revelations forward.
If you like English relationship novels rich with endearing characters and local color, you'll enjoy this one.