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The Peacock Summer

Narrated by: Elisabeth Hopper
Length: 14 hrs and 26 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (139 ratings)

Non-member price: $44.99

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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)

What listeners say about The Peacock Summer

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Nice story

Umm... the Narrator is not the best with accents or the elderly, but don't let that put you off listening to this book. It's a nice, light read

3 people found this helpful

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Unfufilled love

The story is ok, but I should give up reading (listening) to unfulfilled love due to time and place. It is more a reflection on me than the book I suppose. In this modern/progressive age, it is just too hard to imagine women sacrificing for responsibilities and duty.

2 people found this helpful

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such a good book

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

2 people found this helpful

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switch off and enjoy a transformation in time

loved it pure escapism . totally absorbing and cheaper than a holiday. couldn't wait for each new x chapter

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Interesting but slow

I have to admit I struggled with this one. I’m not always a massive fan of dual timeline books, but this one did that aspect well, tying the two timelines together with images and words so it didn’t feel too forced. I think I just found it a bit slow. Particularly the older timeline with Lilian as a young woman. I feel like it could have been condensed a lot and had the same impact. There were quite a few places where the readers know more than the characters, which is fine but the characters seemed to take an age to catch up! Or people withheld information for no good reason, which really slowed the pace of the whole thing. I didn’t give up on it because I wanted to know what happened, and the ending was satisfying without tying everything into a neat bow. Overall I’d say I mostly enjoyed it, but it was a book I was glad to finish. The narrator was ok but a bit stilted in places and her voice for the “old” characters was an annoying croak.

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Romantic n compelling holiday read .

This is a very romantic book that I wanted to get back to, excellent holiday book, characters are described very well, the story line compelling, I just enjoyed The Peacock Summer especially as an audible book, it followed me into every room for a few days....

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Fluffy and twee

Peacock Summer just a bit twee but at a discounted rate, a good enough entertainment for the beach. The editing might have been tighter, I found the use of “upon” so frequent as to be annoying, especially when being used in the present day. In all passable “chick lit”. Nothing more.

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enjoyable listen

another great reader that can deliver a great story, i love it and want more

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Love love love

I cried and laughed and felt so attached to everything in this story. Five stars all round and I can’t wait to re read the story and fall in love with it again and again.

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I wanted to like this book (spoiler alert)

And I did like it but found it too slow at times. And if the author was going for the two love stories why didn’t she take it all the way but left us just hanging. If you do it do it all the way otherwise what’s the point. It felt unfinished and rushed at the end. Not likely to be reading any other books from this author. Narration was really enjoyable.

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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?