Facing the LightPaperback
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- Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
- Format: Paperback | 512 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 192mm x 36mm | 422g
- Publication date: 4 March 2004
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0752842846
- ISBN 13: 9780752842844
- Sales rank: 1,309,214
An extended family gathers in late August to celebrate the seventy-fifth birthday of its formidable matriarch, Leonora. She is the daughter of the famous Edwardian painter Ethan Walsh, whose paintings are kept at the family home, Willow Court in Wiltshire. At Leonora's house party will be her daughters, Gwen and Rilla, whom she raised alone after she was widowed in her late twenties; Rilla's stepdaughter Beth; and Gwen's husband and three children with their spouses and lovers. One outsider joins the group: Sean Everard, a television director who's making a documentary about the life and work of Ethan Walsh. All families have their dark side and Leonora's is no exception. By the time the marquee is dismantled and all the guests have gone their separate ways, two shocking past events have come to light, to rock complacency and change for ever the lives of Leonora and her daughters.
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Adele Geras was born in Jerusalem. Since 1976 she has published many acclaimed books for children and young adults. She lives in Manchester with her husband and they have two daughters.
'An enthralling mystery that maintains a sense of suspense through each spellbinding page.' GOOD BOOK GUIDE
Willow Court is a magnificent house that preserves the art treasures of the famous Ethan Walsh, the dead patriarch of a fractured family. The mansion is the mysterious centre for this fabulous tale of love and hate, grief and passion, too many lies and, eventually, a blistering truth. The house draws the family back into its dark web where they will be forced to confront their hidden pasts. The occasion is the 75th birthday party of Ethan's daughter, the formidable Leonora. 'Don't give houseroom to shadows. Keep problems in their place.' This is Leonora's philosophy and the key to the concealment that hovers below the surface of all their lives. Leonora has been taught from childhood to keep up a pretence and ignore the dark truth that shadows her life and she passes this legacy to her descendants, with tragic consequences. Her relationships with her family and their multi-faceted interactions with each other unfold and emotional splinters are revealed as each chapter peels back layers of riveting family history. Her daughter Rilla believes that she is 'allergic' to the mother who has never been able to offer her the unconditional love she craves. Many ghosts will be waiting for Rilla's return to the family house, most painful of all that of her little son, who drowned in the lake during a fatal game of pretend. Then there is Beth, Rilla's stepdaughter, who carries a secret love for Efe, her step-cousin, and hates his wife Fiona. Alex, always trailing behind the others, is unaware of his true feelings for Beth until he witnesses her love for his faithless brother. Fiona, trapped and stifled by her love for Efe, is set to make a terrible discovery. And the frail Nanny Mouse, elderly and often confused but the silent witness to so much pain, is beginning to remember.... As the party draws nearer, will the family be able to free themselves from the bonds of their dark history by finally learning to face the light? The past and the present merge effectively, gradually piecing the many stands of the story together to create an atmospheric tale of suppressed truth and emotions. This is an enthralling and beautifully written mystery which maintains the sense of suspense through each spellbinding page. Exciting and moving in equal measure, it is destined to become a classic. (Kirkus UK)