On the night their mother drowns trying to ride out a storm in a sailboat, sisters Marnie and Diana Maitland discover there is more than one kind of death. There is the death of innocence, of love, and of hope. Each sister harbors a secret about what really happened that night—secrets that will erode their lives as they grow into adulthood…
The story starts with Marnie coming back to her childhood home, after a call from her sister’s ex-husband. His wife and son have been involved in a sailing accident, and Gil is traumatised, and refusing to speak. As Marnie is a special needs teacher, he hopes that she can help him.
As Marnie sets about doing just this, she also has to deal with the relationship she now has with her sister. Once close, they haven’t spoken for ten years, following their own traumatic boat trip with their mother. This story is slowly unravelled, along with the present one.
Karen explores many family relationships within this book, with the strongest being between the two sisters. All the characters are strongly written, with Diana being the most complex.. and frustrating! One of the major issues is how bipolar (manic depression) can have such a profound effect, not only on those affected, but those around them too.
This is the third book recently that I’ve read to explore this condition.. they are all very different, but the central themes remain the same. All have stayed with me, and all three are up there amongst my favourites.