Keen to escape the pressures of city life, Marsali Swift and her husband William are drawn to Listowel, a glorious historic mansion in the seemingly tranquil small town of Muckleton. There is time to read, garden, decorate, play chess and befriend the locals.
Yet one night Listowel is robbed, and soon after a neighbor is murdered. The violent history of the couple’s adopted Goldfields town is revealed, and plans for a new goldmine emerge.
Subtle and sinister details unnerve. The novels that are studied at book club echo disappearances and colonial transgressions, a treasured copy of Monet ‘s Field of Poppies recalls loves and dreams but also times of war.
Atmospheric and beguiling this is a novel that seduces the reader with mysteries and beauties but also speaks of something much larger. The planet is in trouble, but is the human race up to the challenge? Are Marsali and William walking blindfold into a hostile world?
‘It celebrates the human catastrophe with grace and charm. It takes years of experience for a writer to be able to pull off this kind of sorcery.’
‘Carmel Bird has a gift for distilling the essence of her characters and locations and bringing them together in wonderfully unexpected ways. Her distinctive voice and lightness of touch shine in this penetrating and evocative novel.’