The Book Whisperer (aka Boof)'s Reviews > The Legacy

The Legacy by Katherine Webb
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Jul 08, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: arc-and-review-copies, british-authors, read-in-2010, comfort-reading, uk, usa
Read from July 08 to 11, 2010

The Legacy opens in 1905 with Caroline Calcott, Lady of Stourton Manor in Wiltshire, hurredly leaving the house and making her way through the grounds and into the woods, carrying a white pillowcase over her shoulder which (unbeknown to the maids who watch her in surprise from the window) holds a small child.

The story then fast forwards to the current day and passes to Erica Calcott, Caroline’s Great-Granddaughter. Erica and her sister Beth have come back to Stourton Manor after 23 years of being kept away as their Grandmother, Meredith, has passed away and left them the property in her will. The two sisters haven’t been to the Manor since 1986 when their cousin Henry, who also used to stay at the house with them every summer during their childhood, vanished without trace never to be heard of again. Erica can’t remember what happened on that day and Beth won’t talk about it.

The story then goes further back in time to 1902 when Caroline was still living in New York and falls in love with a young cattle rancher from Oklahoma and once married, makes her way to her new life in the vast open prairies and overwhelming heat. From here, the book alternated between the stories of Caroline and Erica and while we start to put tiny pieces of the puzzle together to find out the fates of both children the pages just turn themselves.

I have read books before with dual narratives and I have often found that I prefer one story to the other, even to the stage where I will skim over the less favoured. Not so with The Legacy. Both stories are so compelling and end on cliff-hangers (of sorts) which makes the book even more pacey and page-turning. In the contemporary story, themes of depression, discovery, nostaligia and deception are dealt with and with Caroline’s turn of the century story there is loneliness, longing, desperation and envy which all built up to an act so impulsive and shocking that its repercussion imprint themselves on the future generations of the Calcott family, including Erica’s.

Within this book of long hot summers, secrets and deception there are two mysteries to solve too: the fate of both children. This is what gives the book its tremendous forward momentum. As the pages turn, we get closer and closer to the truth of what happened in both 1905 and 1986 but I have to admit that I was stunned with one of the conclusions. As a huge mystery/thriller fan I like to pride myself on being able to guess “whodunnit” early but……I didn not see this one coming! Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a thriller book, but the fact that the book steers us towards the truth through the pages means that it is one cracking, fast-paced read.

In summary, The Legacy is a wonderfully crafted, beautifully written, skillfully interwoven book that is perfect for a summer read. I highly recommend
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Reading Progress

07/08/2010 page 93
22.0% "Loving this so far"
07/11/2010 page 305
71.0% 3 comments
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