The Summer Country: A Novel
The New York Times bestselling historical novelist delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet-a sweeping, dramatic Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados. 1854. From Bristol to Barbados. . . . Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous merchant clan-merely a vicar's daughter, and a reform-minded vicar's daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family's lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day. But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheiritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados-a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned. When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts. Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins? Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills-so eager that they invite Emily and her cousins to stay with them indefinitely? Emily finds herself bewitched by the slightly sinister tropical beauty of the island even as she's drawn into the personalities and politics of forty years before: a tangled history of clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom. When family secrets begin to unravel and the harsh truth of history becomes more and more plain, Emily must challenge everything she thought she knew about her family, their legacy . . . and herself.