Edie and her mother have a strained relationship. It seems always that Meredith her mother holds off without wanting to get close to her only child. Edie is hurt and nonplussed as well because there does not seem to be a valid reason for this behaviour. The discovery of this letter shakes Meredith up a great deal which has got Edie curious as to what the reason could be.
Subsequently Edie finds Mildehurst Castle and through a series of events which seem almost predestined, she comes into contact with its inhabitants and tries to unravel the secrets so well hidden within this castle and its three spinster sisters.
What she discovers - about her mother, about the sisters, about the stormy night long ago and its disastrous consequences which led to Juniper's slow mental disintegration into madness disrupts all their lives.
This book has many different characteristics which are intriguing - its layered, it goes back and forth between two different time frames, the contrasts between the modern Edie and the stiff upper lip attitude of the Blythes and traditions must be upheld at any cost, the castle itself mouldering and at the same time almost alive (walls speaking??? and whispering) combine to make it a classic Gothic novel. What we would now say is batty and eccentric was the sisters policy of protection of the family at all costs against outsiders. They were the big house and standards had to be maintained. At one stage of the book, my mind was made up that there had been abuse of the girls as well by their father but this was not an abuse that we are familiar with. This was a burden of duty and closing ranks so that personal emotional well being and love were not taken into account. Sad.
I think this is Kate Morton's best book (so far).