Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Legacy by Katherine Webb

Synopsis From Back Cover:

When they were children, Erica Calcott and hers sister, Beth, spent their summer holidays at Storton Manor.  Now, following the death of their grandmother, they have returned to the grand, imposing house in Wiltshire, England.  Unable to stem the tide of childhood memories that arise as she sorts through her grandmother's belongings, Erica thinks back to the summer her cousin Henry vanished mysteriously from the estate, an event that tore their family to pieces.  It is time, she believes, to lay the past to rest, bring her sister some peace, and finally solve the mystery of her cousin's disappearance.

But sifting through remnants of a bygone time is bringing a secret family history to light - one that stretches back over a century, to a beautiful society heiress in Oklahoma, a haunting, savage land across the ocean.  And as past and present converge, Erica and Beth must come to terms with two shocking acts of betrayal... and the heartbreaking legacy they left behind.

When my roommate saw this book sitting on the kitchen table, he asked me why was I reading a "chick" book.  It told him that wasn't what it was, but I don't think he ever really believed me.  All he would say was, look at the cover.  Based off of that alone, I probably would have agreed with him.  With this cover, I don't think I would have ever picked this one up.  It's a shame really, because if I hadn't, I would have missed out on an amazing story.

As soon as Erica and Beth step out on the page, you know something is horribly wrong.  The tension between them is palpable and Beth seems like she can wilt at any minute.  Something is obviously weighing on, suffocating her to the point that she could be crushed at any second.  Whatever is destroying her has broken up her marriage, kept her from being around her son all the time, and is threatening to consume her.  Erica is at a loss of what to do, she has been trying to keep her sister afloat for years now and she is hoping spending Christmas in the country will somehow cure her.

Erica, already suspecting it, quickly figures out that whatever is eating Beth is rooted in their childhood.  Erica, who can't remember the circumstances behind Henry disappearing, thinks that summer is behind all of Beth's problems.  With the reluctant help of a childhood friend, Erica attempts to uncover the truth and remember what happened.

As she tries to cobble together the truth of what happened all those years ago, she also starts to uncover something she never suspected.  Maybe the reason why her grandmother was such a tyrant was because her mother, Caroline, never showed her love.  And the root of all of it could be found in the picture of Caroline with a baby boy, a boy that nobody knows anything about.

The two stories are intermingled as they build to a climax that will resolve what happened to Henry but will leave Erica with something other than the truth about Caroline and that mysterious baby.  She has a great theory, one that is very close to the truth, but with no concrete evidence, she has to go with the more obvious answer.

I loved the idea of us, the reader, knowing what happened with Caroline and the mysterious baby, but the characters never really knowing the truth.  Erica really never finds written proof to back up what she believes to be the truth, though all the evidence points towards her conclusion..  The fact that it isn't really the whole truth, makes the story all the more believable to me.  Something like this would not have been written down, and for a woman like Caroline to leave it all in black and white on a page, wouldn't have made sense.

Both storylines are compelling and kept me hooked the entire time.  The author built wonderfully developed characters that were believalbe in every way.  She then gave them the perfect, concrete setting that framed the story and the characters wonderfully.

I would like to thank Trish of TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to read/review this book.  To read other opinions on this one, please visit the tour page.  If you would like to find out more about the author, please visit her Facebook page.


Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I love the cover! Great thoughts on this one Ryan... I may need to search this one out.

bermudaonion said...

I've been attracted to this book because of the cover - maybe because I'm a chick? I love books with secrets, so this sounds really appealing to me.

Yvette said...

Great review, Ryan - as always. I love the way you make the book seem special. I hadn't heard of this book, adding the title to my list purely on your sayso.

Blodeuedd said...

Sounds good. I have been wanting to read some well normal fiction, cos that has not been on my plate for some time now

Anonymous said...

You make a great point about the cover - that's exactly what I thought when I looked at it. I'm glad you ended up really enjoying it though!

Thanks for being on the tour Ryan.

Anonymous said...

I really want to read this book. And after your review, I really, really, really want to read this book even more!

Julie said...

I LOVE the cover (but I'm a "chick", so that may be why!). What I love even more is your review. This one is going right onto my wishlist!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Great review Ryan. I enjoyed it too, as you know!

Anonymous said...

Hello Ryan, thanks for such a great review. I'm really, really pleased to hear how much you enjoyed the book, in spite of not being a chick! Best wishes, Katherine.

Teddyree said...

I love the cover, it looks very nostalgic and I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I'll be keeping an eye out for it!

Marg said...

I need to pull this book off the shelf and start it by the sounds of it!