Summer, 1973. Teenage Ruth and her four friends spend the scorching summer days in the river, recreating tableaus of the drowning Ophelia and other tragic heroines. But as autumn draws nearer, real tragedy has found them.
Summer, 1997. Ruth returns to her childhood home with her husband and three children, including her eldest daughter seventeen-year-old Maeve. However when Stuart, an old family friend comes to stay, the uneasy relationship between mother and daughter is pushed to its limit. For Stuart’s arrival is a reminder of a death in Ruth’s past, while Maeve is feeling more alive than ever . . .
As the heat of the summer burns, how long can the family go before long-held secrets threaten to burst their banks and drown them all?
Press and Reviews
“...a novel saturated with beauty, menace, longing, secrets-- and with passions deep enough to drown in. It's a sinister, suspenseful page-turner that gripped me tightly and…”Read more
“This hypnotic tale will keep you emotionally invested to the end.”
“With more than a few nods to Jane Eyre and Rebecca, this debut novel throws an awkward but stalwart heroine into a decaying house with history…”
“Such a vivid, beautiful but haunting story, with a thread of darkness running through it . . . I was thoroughly engrossed”
“This is a challenging and memorable read that combines beautiful writing and creeping unease.”
“A potent, mesmerizing portrait of girlhood desire, betrayal, beauty and death, sensuously written and passionately told.”
“Engrossing and rich in imagery, Jane Healey writes the way dreams feel. I loved it.”