REVIEW: The Antique Dealer’s Daughter by Lorna Gray
The Cotswolds, Summer, 1947
In the aftermath of war, Emily Sutton struggles to find her place in a world irrevocably changed by conflict. When she refuses to follow tradition and join her father’s antiques business – or get married – her parents send her for an ‘improving’ stay with her spinster cousin in the Cotswolds. But Emily arrives to find her cousin’s cottage empty and a criminal at work in the neighbourhood.
A deadly scandal still haunts this place – the death of John Langton, the rumour of his hoard of wartime spoils, leaving his older brother to bear the disgrace. Now, even as Emily begins to understand each man’s true nature, the bright summer sky is darkened by a new attack. Someone is working hard to ensure that John’s ghost will not be allowed to rest, with terrifying consequences…
This book takes up the story of the Langton’s that was started a few months earlier in In the Shadow of Winter” which I read a few years ago. I was confused when it began, despite having read and enjoyed the earlier book, and my confusion never really eased the farther I read. The heroine’s POV is all we see but we see plenty of it as Emily Sutton has to ponderously think through everything, then rethink her assumptions and then finally catch what she really believes is going on. Everyone is tight lipped about their feelings and actions leading to endless misunderstandings.
I liked that the setting is a little used one – post World War II Britain in the countryside – and that the story incorporates the social and political changes they were grappling with. Unfortunately the more convoluted the story became and the longer the plot twisted around on itself and bogged down in endless pages of discussion and Emily’s observations, the less I came to care what was going on. I finally surrendered at the 2/3 mark. DNF