It’s 1759 and the world is at war, pulling the North American colonies of Britain and France into the conflict. The times are complicated, as are the loyalties of many New York merchants who have secretly been trading with the French for years, defying Britain’s colonial laws in a game growing ever more treacherous.
When captured French officers are brought to Long Island to be billeted in private homes on their parole of honour, it upends the lives of the Wilde family—deeply involved in the treasonous trade and already divided by war.
Lydia Wilde, struggling to keep the peace in her fracturing family following her mother’s death, has little time or kindness to spare for her unwanted guests. French-Canadian lieutenant Jean-Philippe de Sabran has little desire to be there. But by the war’s end they’ll both learn love, honour, and duty can form tangled bonds that are not broken easily.
Their doomed romance becomes a local legend, told and re-told through the years until the present day, when conflict of a different kind brings Charley Van Hoek to Long Island to be the new curator of the Wilde House Museum.
Charley doesn’t believe in ghosts. But as she starts to delve into the history of Lydia and her French officer, it becomes clear that the Wilde House holds more than just secrets, and Charley discovers the legend might not have been telling the whole story…or the whole truth.
Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
The premise was super interesting.
However I had difficulty staying connected to it. There was a lot of information dumping, some passages overworked, some underworked. A lot of passive voice. I couldn’t make sense of it all unfortunately. DNFd at Charlie, page 32.
I think most of my dissatisfaction was that I really wanted to dive into it but I wasn’t in the mood to figure out and look past what wasn’t working for me. It lacked a bit of direction and flow. Perhaps it was some untimely changing of POVs, the amount of interruptive backstory in between the dialogue, and very dense less interesting informational releases about the characters which made the reading experience feel a bit stagnant for my taste.
I really liked the idea behind the story though and will definitely be looking forward to exploring other stories from this author.