A disappearance. A sudden death. A betrayal of the worst kind.... Ella longs for a child, but a gruesome find during an adoption process deepens the cracks in her marriage. A family visit sets off a horrifying chain of events, and Ella can only hope she won't lose the person she loves most of all. Amanda is expecting her second child when her husband vanishes. She is tortured by thoughts of violence and loss, but nothing prepares her for the shocking conclusion to the police investigation.
When three-year-old Olivia disappears, her mother, Maggie, refuses to leave the cottage, staring out at the turbulent sea and praying it didn’t claim her daughter’s life. Another mother watches proudly as her daughter starts school. Jennifer has loved Hailey for five years, but the child is suddenly moody, and there’s a niggling worry that Jennifer cannot shake off. Time is running out for Maggie and also for Jennifer and Hailey.
When Alicia Bryson returns to her estranged father’s home in a tiny Yorkshire village, she feels burdened by his illness. Her hometown brings back memories of a miserable and violent childhood, and Alicia worries that her young daughter Jenny’s summer will be filled with a similar sense of unhappiness. The town is exactly as she remembered it - the people, the buildings, even the woods. But her arrival has not gone unnoticed. There is someone watching her every move.
When Esther's childhood best friend, Isabella, dies of cancer, she is devastated. Years later she is brought together with Isabella's sister Sally, who cared for Isabella in her last days and who subsequently nursed their mother through years of dementia. English professor Esther sees shy, innocent Sally emerge from a life of isolation and loneliness. But as Esther herself suffers blow after blow and sees her carefully ordered life collapse around her, she is forced to contemplate the notion of friendship and trust.
Ally is intelligent, studious and engaged in an eternal battle to gain her mother’s approval and affection. Her mother is a religious zealot, keener on feeding the poor and saving prostitutes than on embracing the challenges of motherhood. Even when Ally is accepted as one of the first female students to read medicine in London, it still doesn’t seem good enough. The first in a two-book sequence, Bodies of Light is a poignant tale of a psychologically tumultuous 19th-century upbringing set in the world of Pre-Raphaelitism.
A kindly voice from the 'lost or stolen' option at the other end of the phone confirmed that no one had taken money from her cards in the short time they'd gone missing. Thank heavens. She decided there was no need to cancel them. When Georgie Hamilton's car goes missing and then reappears outside her house hours later, her family is convinced she must have left it there - after all, her handbag is still on the backseat.