Gregory Murphy. Berkley, $15 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-24103-5
William Dysart, the scion of a wealthy New York family and an accomplished attorney, is married to a so-cialite who loves his money and status far more than she loves him. This situation is tolerable until he undertakes a property purchase for a wealthy widow, Lydia Billings, who wants a cottage belonging to Sybil Curtis, a mysterious young woman. Dysart becomes attracted to Curtis, who hints at Billings' dark motives in wanting her property. As Dysart begins to unravel the connections between Curtis and Billings (and falls more in love with Curtis), he uncovers an unspeakable scandal—Billings' husband had been sexually abusing the barely-adolescent Curtis for years and the cottage was the price of her silence. When he learns this, he vows to do everything in his power to protect her and help her heal, even if it destroys his career, marriage, and reputation. While the novel borrows liberally from other turn-of-the-century tales to create the hypocritical disaffected high society of New York City, Curtis' scandal is extremely modern and feels anachronistic and dissonant. Curtis is a standard maligned and damaged woman fight-ing against social forces, and Dysart is equally familiar. The scandal may be enough for readers, but this tale evokes enough hints of better literature to make readers wish for more substance. [July]
Reviewed on: 07/04/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-51656-0
Hardcover - 367 pages - 978-1-61173-277-1
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-50716-2
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