About The Book
The war may be over, but for Molly life is still in turmoil. Uprooted from London after the death of her mother, Molly, her father and younger brother Jimmy are starting again in a quiet village in the countryside of Colchester. As summer sets in, the heat is almost as oppressive as the village gossip. Molly dreams of becoming a journalist, finding a voice in the world, but most of the time must act as Jimmy’s carer. At just ten years old he is Molly’s shadow, following her around the village as she falls under the spell of local boy Kit. Kit is clever, funny and a natural-born rebel. Rowing on the waters of the lake with him becomes Molly’s escape from domestic duty. But there is something Kit is not telling Molly.
As the village gossip starts building up with whispers against Molly’s father over missing church funds, everything Molly thought she knew is turned upside down. And on one stormy night, when she sneaks out of the house to try to put things right, Jimmy vanishes. Never to be seen again.
Decades later, Molly is an elderly woman in sheltered housing, still haunted by the disappearance of her brother. When two police officers arrive to say that the remains of a body have been found at the bottom of the lake, it seems like Molly will at long last have her answer . . .
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have never read a book by Liz Trenow before so was unprepared for how captivating her writing was. I do enjoy historical fiction and found when reading this that I was experiencing real life in 1940s rural England. It felt very authentic. A very small part of it took place in modern day and whilst interesting it was younger Molly’s story I enjoyed the most.
Molly has moved with her father and younger brother to the country, her father is the new vicar, her mother dead and she has to spend much of her time looking after her younger brother who had disabilities. As you would expect she often resented being his carer but was devoted to him and wanted him to settle in and be happy in his new life. I loved everything about Molly, her devotion to her family, her friendship towards Eli, her crush on Kit, her first book, which the reader could read within the novel, and her refusal to feel intimidated by Blackmore. It was a shame that there wasn’t more who were willing to stand up to the man, I found him despicable.
Alongside the main storyline, which is difficult to say much about because of spoilers there was also one which showed Molly’s increasing passion for wildlife and nature. Something which she never had the opportunity to experience when living in London. Sadly, many areas like this have been lost to property development, just like in the novel.
I loved this novel, it portrayed a wonderful example of a family struggling with grief caused by family loss and also what life must have been like for many after their experiences during the war.