When 20-year-old Lenny Barnes, paralysed in a rugby accident, commits suicide in the presence of Barnaby Johnson, the much-loved priest of a West Cornwall parish, the tragedy's reverberations open up the fault-lines between Barnaby and his nearest and dearest. The personal stories of his wife, children and lover illuminate and the gulfs of unspoken sadness that separate them all. Across this web of relations scuttles Barnaby's repellent nemesis – a man as wicked as his prey is virtuous.
Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry Cane signs up for emigration to the newly colonized Canadian prairies. His allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness, and an evil man of undeniable magnetism, that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before.
""It WAS bitter; like biting into memory itself""
From the author of the best-selling Notes From an Exhibition comes an irresistible, searching and poignant historical novel of love, relationships, secrets and escape to find yourself, sometimes you must lose everything .A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence.
When troubled artist Rachel Kelly dies painting obsessively in her attic studio in Penzance, her saintly husband and adult children are left to unravel a legacy of secrets and emotional damage.
When troubled artist Rachel Kelly dies she leaves behind an extraordinary body of work - but for her family there is a legacy of secrets and painful revelations. To her children she is both curse and blessing, as they cope with the inheritance of her passions - and demons. Only their father's gift of stillness can withstand Rachel's destructive influence and the suspicion that her family came second to her art.