Quebec City, 2000. Marie Rioux flings law career and burning causes into the wake of her dead marriage to sail for England and the grand voyage of inner discovery we all secretly crave. But Marie already knows herself; it’s her forbears who are closeted in obscurity. Three generations in England and Quebec answered ‘the call’, caring amidst the carnage of the Boer, ‘Great’, and Second World Wars; their lives and kinship exist only in hints and whispers. Not to mention her father, no hero, who absconded to Europe without trace in her infancy.
In sleuthing the family past, Marie tumbles into an unlikely romance with a whistleblower on the run. Events lead the pair, and their stalker, to the Isle of Wight, where Marie’s esthetic hero, Julia Margaret Cameron, once kept the beacon of ‘beauty’ with her neighbour, Alfred Lord Tennyson. Standing on the High Down, Marie knows she has located her true home. Unless she can thwart the immediate violence cloaking FreshwaterBay, however, Marie will never enjoy what she has discovered: what Gerald Brenan called ‘a life of one’s own’.