During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a... read more
In 1961, awaiting her younger brother’s birthday party, 16-year-old Laurel Nicolson is secluded in her tree house dreaming of her future. Her self-reflection is broken when she observes a stranger walking toward their farmhouse. When he walks the rear and greets her fearful mother, she takes a... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
In 1961, awaiting her younger brother’s birthday party, 16-year-old Laurel Nicolson is secluded in her tree house dreaming of her future. Her self-reflection is broken when she observes a stranger walking toward their farmhouse. When he walks the rear and greets her fearful mother, she takes a knife traditionally used to slice the family’s birthday cakes and stabs the man to death. Laurel’s mother avoids arrest and persecution when Laurel tells the police that her mother was attacked by the man. The story then jumps ahead fifty years to London where Laurel, now a famous actress is visiting her mother who is unconscious and dying in a hospital. A younger sister shows Laurel a photograph taken during the London Blitz which depicts her mother and another woman who is identified as a friend on the back. Laurel, still haunted by the stabbing incident of a man familiar to her mother but whose relationship was never explained decides to investigate her mother’s life in an effort to discern what might have caused her mother to kill the man.
“Children don't require of their parents a past, and they find something faintly unbelievable, almost embarrassing, in parental claims to a prior existence.”
“One of the things I have come to know most surely in my work is that the belief system acquired in childhood is never fully escaped; it may submerge itself for a while, but it always returns in times of need to lay claim to the soul it shaped.”Katy Ellis
“Billy said she wasn't ever going to find the words to make them (her parents) understand. He said it was called the "generation gap" and that trying to explain herself was pointless, that it was like it said in the Alain Sillitoe book he carried everywhere in his pocket, adults weren't supposed to understand their children and you were doing something wrong if they did.”Billy Baxter
“A true friend is a light in the dark, Viven.”Rose
“But at the same time, Laurel had been thinking a lot about secrets, about how difficult they were to keep, and the habit they had of lurking quietly beneath the surface before sneaking all of a sudden through a crack in their keeper's resolve.”Narrator
We’re hiding the organizations, errata, movie connections, books that influenced this book, books influenced by this book and books cited by this book sections. If you would like to add content to them, you must first make them visible.