The main character in this book is actually a house called Birchwood Manor set in the Oxfordshire countryside. In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists spend several weeks at the property painting and creating and generally being young and having fun. By the time they leave however, one person has been killed and another has disappeared. As we move through the book, the reader goes through several different time periods with the house occupied by other people. For example, during one period there is a man staying at the house that has just gotten back from World War I and is having difficulties dealing with the aftermath of the war. During another period, we read about a young widow whose husband was just killed in World War II and she and her children had to flee London because of the bombing blitzes and they move into the house.
The reader also, from time to time, hears from a ghost that resides in the house and occasionally gives us her impressions of the people that are currently living in the property.
I didn’t know if I actually wanted to read this book as I hadn’t really enjoyed Kate Morton’s last one or two books but I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. It has restored my faith in her books and in reading historical fiction again. I very much recommend!