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The Peacock Summer

Narrated by: Elisabeth Hopper
Length: 14 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Summary

A compelling story of secrets, betrayals and the consequences of a long-ago summer from the best-selling author of Secrets of the Tides and The Shadow Year

'If she could reach back through the years and warn the person she once was, what would she say?...What would she say to the ghosts who now inhabit her days? So many of those she has loved are now nothing but dust and memory.'

At 26, Lillian feels trapped by life. Her marriage to Charles Oberon has not turned out the way she expected it would. To her it seems she is just another object captured within the walls of Cloudesley, her husband's beautiful manor house tucked away high in the Chiltern Hills. But, with a young step-son and a sister to care for, Lillian accepts there is no way out for her. Then Charles makes an arrangement with an enigmatic artist visiting their home and his presence will unbalance everything she thought she knew and understood. 

Maggie Oberon ran from the hurt and resentment she caused. Half a world away, in Australia, it was easier to forget, to pretend she didn't care. But when her elderly grandmother, Lillian, falls ill she must head back to Cloudesley. Forced to face her past, Maggie fights to hold herself and her family's legacy together as she learns that all she thought was real, all that she held so close, was never as it seemed. 

Two summers, decades apart.

Two women whose lives are forever entwined. 

And a house that holds the dark secrets that could free them both. 

Read by Elisabeth Hopper.

©2018 Hannah Richell (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

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Atmospheric love thriller

I thought I would be enjoying a light hearted pick up put down holiday read but this story is so much more and makes for utterly compulsive listening, Unable to bear not getting to the end, I finished the final chapter in the early hours of the morning. I found it beautifully written, the clever fascinating double plots slowly unfolding in glorious technicolour as the author describes in perfect detail the scenes, emotions, gestures and people so perfectly. I became involved with and intrigued by all the main characters, but also the supporting ones as they helped present the atmosphere behind the 2 storylines. I grew to love and bleed for Lilian, utterly believable for a woman of her time, but could also identify with the modern impulsive Maggie. And these are only 2 of the personalities involved. All the characters introduced play a part in drawling out the past and gradually, tantalisingly revealing more and more details making it very much a “page turner.”. And clever Hannah leaves the last twist to the end, which allowed me to understand and accept the portrayal of one of her main characters, who had slightly puzzled me. I never suspected the final revelation! Thankfully the ending did not disappoint, it wasn’t all neat and tidy (yuk) but there were no lose ties, everything was explained, to my satisfaction anyway, and yet the future still remains anyone’s guess. In summary, I absolutely recommend this as a gripping listen.
The narration was mostly ok, but I wasn’t sure about the rather gravelly intonation chosen for the elderly voices