“Powell has not written a pale imitation of The Crown or Downton Abbey . . . it’s a fresh look at the pressures our caste systems place upon all of us.” —Los Angeles Times
It is the summer of 1955. The body of Danny Masters is found by three of his friends in the river that runs through Starome, a village on the Richmond estate in North Yorkshire.
Alexander, one of the three friends that found Danny and the sole heir to Richmond Hall, has always been unpredictable but lately he has grown elusive, his behavior becoming increasingly erratic. His mother, Lady Venetia Richmond, is newly widowed and too busy trying to keep the sprawling family estate together to worry about Alexander, though she could use his help.
A second friend, Lennie Fairweather, “child of nature” and daughter of the late Sir Angus Richmond’s private secretary, has other things on her mind too. In love with Alexander, she longs to escape life with her over-protective father and domineering brother, Tom, who was also there when Danny’s body was discovered.
In the weeks that follow the tragic drowning, the river begins to give up its secrets. As the circumstances surrounding Danny’s death emerge, other stories surface that threaten to disrupt everybody’s plans and to destroy an entire way of life.
“[Powell’s] novel about love, class, and secrecy in 1950s England reads as if it were written in the era the characters inhabit, her style and tone reminiscent of an earlier generation of reticent yet emotionally brutal writers like Shirley Hazzard and Graham Greene. A mesmerizing escape.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Evocative and engrossing.” —Heat Magazine