I never tire of the view over Lake Windermere on my drive to work. Some mornings it’s the hushed ethereal quality of the light on the water that determines me to internally freeze frame the forget-me-not moment. At other times it’s the dark mystery and foreboding of the Langdale peaks which trespass a stormy, churned up lake that takes the frame.
What better setting for New York Times best selling author, Meg Waite Clayton, to pen The Wednesday Daughters, her eagerly anticipated sequel to The Wednesday Sisters, the story of five friends who, over the course of four decades, come to redefine what it means to be family.
Hope, Julie and Anna Page, like their mothers, seem destined to be life-long friends caught up together in the bundle of life, with a shared heritage and history. Within this strong bond, each is working out her individual circumstances, grief, disappointments, challenges, hopes and aspirations. We welcome them to the Lake District where they have travelled to scatter the ashes of Hope’s mother, Ally, and to pack up her English literary life – a life shrouded in mystery and romance. Along the shores of Windermere each of them makes timely discoveries about themselves that will shape their future.
The author cleverly and delightfully introduces us, through Ally’s encoded journal, to the life and loves of Beatrix Potter. Just as a photograph can be enhanced by applying a soft focus and allowing a stream of light to highlight your subject – so this book has been crafted to nestle in a cushion created by confident relationships and bedrock love whilst exploring the effects of infidelity, untimely death, prejudice, fear of commitment, secrets and betrayal. Both the characters and landscapes are described in beautiful, and just enough, detail to leave you feeling that you are somehow connected to the three friends and to the lakes, mountains, dry stone walls, cozy tea rooms and the rich cultural history that we in Cumbria call ‘home’.
I have no hesitation in recommending this book which I believe will be enjoyed by anybody who has known a friend, or friends, long and intimately enough to be completely ‘known’ by them. For those who, like me, enjoy a novel that sets the scene for their travels in a particular area, visitors to the Lake District will do very well to pack a copy of The Wednesday Daughters in their suitcase.
- Title: The Wednesday Daughters
- Author: Meg Waite Clayton
- Publisher: Ballantine Books, 2013
- ISBN: 0345530284
- Available from Amazon
Review written by +Tina Taylor