Description from Goodreads
A young man becomes transfixed by a beautiful widow with a shadowy past
In Pequot Landing, there are two sights to see: the largest elm in America, which dominates the stately old village green, and the house of Lady Harleigh. When the Great War ended, she was the most beautiful bride in the village, and though she was widowed soon after, mourning dampened neither her beauty nor her spirits. By the time the Great Depression rolls around, she is the unchallenged center of Pequot society—lovely and energetic, but subject to bouts of grim melancholy that hint at something dark beneath her surface.
Woody is eight years old when he first notices the Lady, and her glittering elegance captures his heart. He spends his boyhood deeply in love with the mysterious widow, obsessed with the sadness that lies at her core. As he gets closer to her, he finds that Lady Harleigh is haunted—not just by grief, but by a scandalous secret that, if revealed, could change Pequot Landing forever.
I gave this book four stars out of five
I was unsure at first what rating to give this book, vacillating between three and four stars. It is not as if I didn’t enjoy it, I just found it a slow, long read. I think this was mainly due to the unhurried, meandering pace of the story set by the author.
There were many beautifully, descriptive passages in this book, and the story was certainly well written. I was always turning the page in anticipation of finding out what the big secret regarding lady was, and it was this that kept me hooked until the end. There was, however, a long prelude to the main events of the story, building character and back story, which I found to be a little too drawn out, lacking any real excitement.
I enjoyed the development of the relationship between Woody, as a boy, and Lady. The relationship between the children was also interesting, as was how the coloured staff were respected by the children without any hint of the prejudices and bigotry displayed by many of the adult townsfolk.
The final revelation of Lady’s scandalous secret, and the subsequent disclosure of even more shocking events from her past was very well handled, and in my opinion well worth the wait.
I would recommend this if you enjoy reading well written stories with a lot of descriptive language and an intelligent plot, but not if you are looking for something fast paced and filled with suspense.
This review is based on a digital review copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher, Open Road Media.