Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: The Legacy by Katherine Webb

Title:The Legacy
Author:Katherine Webb
Imprint:Harper Paperbacks
Pub. Date:09/01/2011

When they were children, Erica Calcott and her sister, Beth, spent their summer holidays at Storton Manor. Now, following the death of their grandmother, they have returned to the grand, imposing house in Wiltshire, England. Unable to stem the tide of childhood memories that arise as she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings, Erica thinks back to the summer her cousin Henry vanished mysteriously from the estate, an event that tore their family to pieces. It is time, she believes, to lay the past to rest, bring her sister some peace, and finally solve the mystery of her cousin’s disappearance.

But sifting through remnants of a bygone time is bringing a secret family history to light—one that stretches back over a century, to a beautiful society heiress in Oklahoma, a haunting, savage land across the ocean. And as past and present converge, Erica and Beth must come to terms with two shocking acts of betrayal . . . and the heartbreaking legacy they left behind.

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


Erica and Beth Calcott face the unpleasant task of moving into their grandmother's stately manor home. Having spent time there as children, their grandmother's will states they must live there together or sell the home. However, living there reopens old wounds including the mysterious disappearance of their cousin Henry. While sorting through things, Erica soon discovers that their great-grandmother Caroline also had some secrets. Covering the mysterious pasts of both Erica and Caroline, this book tells the story of heartbreak, depression, and betrayal, and their affects across multiple generations.

This book started out so slow. I thought I wasn't going to be able to finish it really. However, I forced myself to stick with it, and I'm glad I did. Once the story picked up, it was awesome. I didn't want to put it down. I think Caroline's story was the most interesting. It took me a while to put together the pieces of that puzzle. It was extremely sad to see that her impulsive decisions twisted her life and her descendants so much. I felt bad for her, but I also was upset with her. I also wondered what would have happened if they had been able to diagnose and treat what I suspect was a case of major depression in Caroline.

I thought Erica was fairly interesting. She was trying to do the best she could to take care of herself and her sister, and I can see how that could be very trying. I did see the major "twist" or surprise for Erica coming a mile away though. I don't know if I'm just a lucky guesser, or if it was just that obvious. Overall, I really enjoyed the book. So if you think it starts off a bit slow, keep giving it a shot. In the end you are treated to a very complex and interesting tale that is worth your time to read.

Galley provided by publisher for review.

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