Format: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover, Audio
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: 06-24-2010
When they were children, Erica Calcott and her sister, Beth, spent their summer holidays at Storton Manor. Now, following the death of their grandmother, they have returned to the grand, imposing house in Wiltshire, England. Unable to stem the tide of childhood memories that arise as she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings, Erica thinks back to the summer her cousin Henry vanished mysteriously from the estate, an event that tore their family to pieces. It is time, she believes, to lay the past to rest, bring her sister some peace, and finally solve the mystery of her cousin’s disappearance.
But sifting through remnants of a bygone time is bringing a secret family history to light—one that stretches back over a century, to a beautiful society heiress in Oklahoma, a haunting, savage land across the ocean. And as past and present converge, Erica and Beth must come to terms with two shocking acts of betrayal . . . and the heartbreaking legacy they left behind.
My So-Called Review:
The Legacy is my third book by Katherine Webb, I love her books and this one did not disappoint! The story opens in England, 1905 with Caroline Calcott, Lady of Stourton Manor mysteriously leaving her house. She was then seen by some of her servants running through the woods, carrying something in a white pillowcase over her shoulder. As soon as I read this opening chapter I knew I was in for a great mystery!
The story then switches to present day sisters Erica and Beth. They have inherited the old Manor house from their grandmother, Meredith (Caroline’s daughter). It’s the house where they spent all their childhood summers, until one hot day in 1986 when their cousin Henry vanished and was never found. Erica has so many memories from their childhood summers at the manor but strangely, she can’t recall any from the day Henry disappeared. Her sister Beth refuses to talk about that day and has been haunted by his disappearance ever since, suffering now from adulthood depression. Soon, Erica becomes convinced that Beth knows what really happened that day to their cousin Henry and she’s determined to get to the bottom of it once and for all. While sorting through her grandmother’s things, Erica stumbles upon a letter and a mysterious photo of Caroline. These items clearly indicate to Erica that her great-grandmother had secrets of her own and now she’s determined to bring those secrets to light.
The chapters alternate between the sisters’ story in the present and Caroline's own story set in 1903. There was so much complexity to these characters and I found myself being sucked right into both mysteries and their many layers. I couldn’t wait to find out how Caroline’s past affected her family throughout the generations and how it ultimately tied to both Erica and Beth in the present day.
In most dual-timeline stories I usually prefer one timeline over the other; this was not the case with The Legacy. I found both timeline’s characters and mysteries equally engrossing and fascinating! I did guess Caroline’s secret before it was revealed but this did not detract from her story in any way. I did not however guess the present day mystery surrounding Henry’s disappearance and was truly shocked once it was revealed! Praise to Katherine Webb for crafting such a beautifully written story; I could not put this book down. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves Historical Fiction, Mysteries, and for fans of Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley, and Susanna Kearsley. This would also make an excellent choice for a book club read, enjoy!