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Publisher's Summary

Two summers, decades apart. Two women whose lives are forever entwined. And a house that holds the secrets that could free them both.

At 26, Lillian feels ancient and exhausted. Her marriage to Charles Oberon has not turned out the way she thought it would. To her it seems she is just another beautiful object captured within the walls of Cloudesley, her husband's Chilterns manor house. But with a young stepson and a sister to care for, Lillian accepts there is no way out for her. Then Charles makes an arrangement with an enigmatic artist visiting their home, and her world is turned on its head.

Maggie Oberon ran from the hurt and resentment she caused. Half a world away, in Australia, it was easier to forget, to pretend she didn't care. But when her grandmother, Lillian, falls ill she must head back to Cloudesley. Forced to face her past, she will learn that all she thought was real, all that she held so close, was never as it seemed.

An utterly compelling story of secrets, betrayals and the consequences of a long-ago summer from the internationally best-selling author of Secrets of the Tides and The Shadow Year.

©2018 Hannah Richell (P)2018 Hachette Australia Audio

Critic Reviews

"[A] beautifully written novel that brims with art, beauty, love, family, passion and secrets." (Books+Publishing)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

such a good book

i really love dual timeline books and this is a great example why. so engrossing

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  • Beelsoz
  • 03-09-2018

To Deceive the Eye...

Great production and a fantastic and intricate story to enjoy in audio format.

I have read all of Hannah Richell’s books and enjoyed each immensely on multiple levels, never failing to be surprised.

This one follows Maggie, a young artist who ha Sloan her sense of self and can no longer create or face up to her life. When she’s dragged back across the world by family circumstances to the old stately house she grew up in, history reaches forward to draw her into a family intrigue started decades earlier and still unresolved. Hannah Richell draws us eagerly into a mystery wrapped beautifully in an evocative period piece full of secrets, transgressions, malice and villainy. As we journey through the world she vividly paints for us, we get caught up in our own expectation and relax into the journey. It is only when we have time to begin to reflect that The author begins to reveal the deceptions that are her trademark and we realise with a Rueful smile that we are staring right at a trompe-l’oeil. The picture, so plausible in our minds’ eye was just an illusion. The reality was there all the time in the little details we glanced at but didn’t see and now it surrounds us and the truth won’t reveal itself unless we pay close attention. The book is a hugely satisfying examination of family and devotion and of the power of strong emotions to change our lives. They can cause great sadness and lasting harm but they can be the inspiration for us to find our truth and to create and find meaning in art. And all the time we spend in Cloudesley, the watchman is there too...but is he a force for good or for evil...or is he real at all?

Bravo Hannah Richell for another powerful and dazzlingly clever deception. When is the next one out?