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Bellewether (original 2018; edition 2018)
by Susanna Kearsley (Author)
Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley (2018)
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It's late summer, war is raging, and families are torn apart by divided loyalties and deadly secrets. In this complex and dangerous time, a young French Canadian lieutenant is captured and billeted with a Long Island family, an unwilling and unwelcome guest. As he begins to pitch in with the never-ending household tasks and farm chores, Jean-Philippe de Sabran finds himself drawn to the daughter of the house. Slowly, Lydia Wilde comes to lean on Jean-Philippe, true soldier and gentleman, until their lives become inextricably intertwined. Legend has it that the forbidden love between Jean-Philippe and Lydia ended tragically, but centuries later, the clues they left behind slowly unveil the true story. Part history, part romance, and all kinds of magic, Susanna Kearsley's latest masterpiece will draw you in and never let you go, even long after you've closed the last page. It's 1759 and the world is at war, pulling the North American colonies of Britain and France into the conflict. When captured French officers are brought to Long Island to be billeted in private homes, it upends the lives of the Wilde family. Lydia Wilde, struggling to keep the peace in her fracturing family following her mother's death, has little time or kindness to spare for her unwanted guests. And Canadian lieutenant Jean-Philippe de Sabran has little desire to be there. But by the war's end they'll both learn love, honour, and duty can form tangled bonds that are not broken easily. Their doomed romance becomes a local legend, told and re-told through the years until the present day, when conflict of a different kind brings Charley Van Hoek to Long Island to be the new curator of the Wilde House Museum. As Charley starts to delve into the history of Lydia and her French officer, it becomes clear that the Wilde House holds more than just secrets, and Charley discovers the legend might not have been telling the whole story.
(summary from another edition)