Leah Hickson is a writer who is contacted by her ex, Ryan, to help identify a body found in Belgium. Ryan thinks there’s a story to be told about this man who appears to be a WWI soldier and is in possession of 2 strange letters from an H. Canning. Leah’s interest is piqued and she quickly begins investigating the Canning family.
In between snippets of Leah’s investigations — and dealing with her love life — lies the bulk of the novel, which takes place in 1911 in Cold Ash Holt, a fictional town outside of London. Hester is newly married to the Reverend Albert Canning, and they have welcomed a new servant to their household. Cat Morley has just been released from prison and Hester convinces Albert that it is the charitable thing to hire Cat. Through letters to Hester’s sister, we learn of some difficulties in Hester and Albert’s marriage which are increased by the arrival of Robin Durrant, who is a theosophist (from Wikipedia: one who seeks to understand the mysteries of the universe and the bonds that unite the universe, humanity and the divine). Neither Hester nor Cat trust Robin from the start but Hester is unable to convince Albert that his motives may be anything other than honest.
The Unseen is told alternately from Hester’s and Cat’s points of view. Hester wants to be happy in her marriage and to be accepted by the society ladies. Cat is suffering ill effects from her treatment while in prison, as well as guilt surrounding the events that landed her there. While both are wary of Robin, they are both pulled in to his schemes, unable to find a way out. Hester and Cat are very different women, Hester is somewhat meek and Cat knows exactly what she wants, though Hester shows some growth and strength as the story progresses.
The Unseen is a good mix of historical fiction and mystery with some romance thrown in, and features interesting female characters. It’s a fast-paced read and I recommend it.
We have one copy of The Unseen for one winner, U.S. only please. Leave a comment below and the winner will be announced in our regular giveaway column on Jun 27. This giveaway is closed.
- The winner of The Serpent’s Shadow is #9 Van.
- The winners of The Host are #22 Samantha W; #27 Jeff; #38 Nannypanpan; #23 Barb@1SentenceDiary.
- The Winner of The Cottage at Glass Beach is #33 Garrett.
Nancy is fascinated by class issues in early 20th century England. She writes about her 2 boys, books and life in Colorado at Life With My Boys and Books.