Fabulous family saga of secrets held through two generations, set against the atmospheric background of the Lake District at Christmas. The year 1936 is drawing to a close. Winter grips Wetmoreland and causes a rare phenonmenon: The lakes freeze. For two local families, the Richardsons and the Grindleys, this will bring unexpected upheaval, as the frozen lake entices long-estranged siblings and children to return home for the holiday season.
Some are aware of what is happening in Europe; others don't want to know. Everyone's keen to put aside their troubles - money worries, love tangles, career problems, domestic rifts - and enjoy themselves skating while they can. But one visitor carries the seed of violence, and not even the redoubtable matriarch of the Richardson clan can prevent the carefully buried secrets of the past from reappearing and transforming everything.
A compelling blend of family closeness and strife, dazzling passion and the dark influence of history, this is an enthralling listen to curl up and savour.
©2004 Elizabeth Edmondson (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
A large cast of characters, narrated brilliantly. The story keeps you engaged until the final secret is revealed. Many characters to love and loath. An enjoyable listen.
Excitement, drama, suspense and intrigue .. this book has it all. Set just before WWII in the north of England, the story commences in London with Alex, who has just come out of a failed relationship, learning that for the first time in sixteen years the lake near the family home has frozen over. She recalls the happy hours spent skating on the lake with her twin brother Edwin and, persuaded by him, she decides to return to the family home for Christmas. Raised by her wealthy grandparents, Alex has stayed away for years and the big question is whether she can cope with her critical Grandma over the Christmas period. What unfolds is a complex web of lies and cover up, leading up to a very dramatic conclusion. I absolutely loved the book and couldn't put it down. And congratulations to the narrator for doing justice to Elizabeth Edmondson's exciting story. Can't wait to read more books by this authoress.
My first book by Elizabeth Edmondson, and the narration by Nicolette McKenzie was very good. I think the mystery aspect was somewhat secondary to the family tale, even though the focus of the book. It was not too hard to figure out as the book progressed. But the character development and story was quite good, and held my interest. I'd only say that it did seem very long, and though interesting, I felt ready for it to end. I would read or listen to other books by this author or narrator.
"Enjoyable story, superb narration "
I'd stongly recommend this to anyone who enjoys well-constructed 'tween wars British cozies. The characters are well drawn and the details of every day life in the upper class of that era are convincing. The descriptive writing and sense of place and time are excellent and occasionally beautiful. The plot is fairly predictable, but the writing and wonderful narration completely blotted out the book's flaws -- for me, anyway. McKenzie even gets the Welsh accent right, which is a painfully rare achievement .
I struggled to get all the characters straight in the beginning. Once I figured out who's who I really got into the book and hard a hard putting down.
"Ok, but too long."
Grandmama had no redeeming characteristics whatsoever. I should have paired the audible version with a hard copy to keep better track of who is related to whom and which group lives on which side of the lake.
I did recommend it to my sister.
Great Aunt Daphne.
No. I would have trouble remembering who everybody was. It was hard enough this time.
took awhile to get into it but I am glad I did. some great family disfunction.
"Brilliant narration. Intricate story"
This was an enjoyable mystery. The narrator does an amazing job with many distinct voices and accidents. Warning: Teenage girls are marginalized and victimized.
"A Must Read!"
As people and things unfold... yes what you think is right!
And if you're like me an ending to really like.
"loved this book"
One of the nicest books very easy listening
Good pace pleasing voice
Slow start then definitely
do not like writing much as do not want to spoil story for others
"Rather predictable and over long."
This story is well thought out and well read but there is a deal of frustration with the predictability. I quickly realised who the strangers really were but the end takes forever to get there. How dense/ ignorant can the characters be and how complicit in so many coverups? I listened to the end out of curiosity to see how neatly the ends were all tied up, but there were no surprises, and all the clues were dropped into the plot unsubtle to the end.
"Nicolette McKenzie is a fabulous narrator!"
I've just discovered Elizabeth Edmondson and have really enjoyed both this book, and the Villa in Italy. Exactly right for a Sunday afternoon in front of the fire on a rainy day in the Lake District. Quite convoluted in places and far fetched, but it's a story, and I love the era in which these books are set. The narration is spot on and really evokes the period. I'm nearly old enough to remember people talking like this, and find it very nostalgic! Will be purchasing other books by both the author, and narrator.
"A WOW of a super story!!!"
This is truly a truly magnetic story that really holds the imagination for the reader many thanks.
"Enjoyable but slow"
I did enjoy this but it was a slow starter. Basic story good although figured it out well before the end. It's not a book I would recommend but wouldn't slate it either.
"A very enjoyable read"
The author has presented us with an easy to follow story line with many interesting characters.
"a slow burner"
it's starts slowly, but builds to a excellent Finnish. a really enjoyable listen. very good
"A 'slow burn' book but very enjoyable"
The narrator has a beautiful voice which made listening a pleasure. Her voice entirely suited the era in which the book was written
A very English setting and story and I enjoyed the portrayals of the various characters. I do not think I would have enjoyed reading the book but listening to it gave it more depth
Her lovely very English voice
No as it wasn't an exciting book and I could stop it at various times and then get right back into it
A well written and fascinating vintage story
"Too many characters for an audio"
This is quite possibly an unfair slur on an enjoyable novel as I am very severely ill but I just could not maintain the concentration of real care and interest in such a vast cast of characters. Those that strike a chord and whom one does develop more interest in, vanish because we switch scenes and coteries of characters too regularly. And we return too fleetingly to build any kind of concerned desire to continue finding out the fates and journeys these characters go on as their lives, no doubt, all interweave with more oomph and plot advancement.
Other audios have kept my attention whilst enduring shocking degrees of agony over days but this one wasn't to be. For someone better able to concentrate I am quite sure this is a decent book worth persevering with. If anything, I am disappointed I eventually gave up.
A book that takes you to another time and place. Engaging characters and a good sense of place.
Pre-war English society, heroes and villains and a satisfying conclusion.
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