Today’s Friday Reads Review is The Legacy by Katherine Webb. It has an awfully cutesy cover. It is a bit TOO cutesy, in my opinion, since this book is not all about two cute little girls. It is about two grown women who used to be cute little girls and who are haunted by a tragic secret.
I see no trace of a tragic secret in that picture.
But my criticism of the cover is probably the worst thing I have to say about this book. I loved it.
I have to say, multi-generational family sagas are not really my thing and I thought that might be what this was. It isn’t, though it probably wouldn’t have mattered. While I was reading the very first chapter I thought, “This woman can write. I will definitely finish this book.” Some people just have a voice that draws you in right away and Katherine Webb is one of them.
The Legacy is a little hard to classify because it has, well, just about everything. Sisters, mothers, daughters. Family secrets. Family tragedies. A big old country manor. A creepy pond where something bad happened.
Oh, and also there’s a whole other section of the book set in the 1900’s so you also get your period novel that manages to be both a romance and a western.
I am not sure how she crammed all this into one book so successfully.
You know I like mysteries, any book with SECRETS is one I’m going to enjoy. Especially if the secrets end up being revealed in ways you didn’t expect. This book definitely lives up to that.
The book begins with Caroline taking a baby boy and leaving him for tinkers to find. 100 years later, in the same house, Caroline’s great grandson Henry also disappears.
The book follows Caroline and Erica, her great-granddaughter. Erica remembers Caroline as an old, damaged woman who left a strange and hateful family behind. Erica and her sister, Beth, visited Caroline’s house every summer. Erica and Beth usually stay outside as much as they can … until their cousin disappears one day while they’re all out playing and their lives change forever.
As for Caroline, she is young and anxious to escape her life in New York City. Her story, which I would never ruin for you, shows how this lovely and excited girl turns into the angry and bitter woman Erica remembers.
After Erica and her sister inherit Caroline’s house, Erica wants to track down all the family secrets. But Beth wants only to forget. As the sisters decide what to do with their inheritance, Erica gets closer and closer to finding out what she has only vague childhood memories of, and what deeper secrets lay in her heritage.
I read this really quickly. Webb’s writing is not overly fluffy. This doesn’t feel anything like chick-lit (which is why the cover irks me so much). And I wish the title had a little more oomph, because it really deserves it. This is a book you can really sink your teeth into. The kind you will stay up late to read another chapter. My favorite kind of book.
Honestly, I feel comfortable recommending this book to virtually anyone, no matter what they like to read. It’s really engrossing and I was so involved with both storylines that I was excited every time it switched back from present to past and back again.
This book was published first in England, where Webb is from, and it’s her second novel. Her first, The Unseen, looks fabulous and I’m definitely going to track it down.
This is a new release from Harper Collins (just came out August 30th), and it’s a paperback original, so you should be able to find a good price on it at your local bookstore.
I was not compensated for this review. I received an advance review copy free of charge from Harper Collins and Netgalley.