Iris Lockhart runs a small clothing shop. She specializes in eclectic, vintage wear. She is currently dating a married man, staving off the constant inquiries from her step brother with whom her relationship keeps us guessing. One day Iris receives a phone call that turns her hum drum life upside down. Apparently she is the sole living family member of “Aunt Esme,” a woman she did not know existed. Her grandmother Kitty was supposed to be an only child as Iris is as well. Feeling sorry for this elderly woman, Iris goes to visit her at the hospital (aka mental asylum) and it seems Esme was locked up for the last 60 years with the key all but thrown away. The facility is closing and until new housing can be arranged Iris decides she cannot abandon this poor woman and takes care of her for the time being. Very quickly Iris learns that her life and her entire family history has been riddled with secrets and a dark, hidden past. As she uncovers the truth Iris learns about the fine line that separates love and hate. The twists do not stop and the pace is unputdownable. I absolutely loved and recommend this novel for its originality and fabulous characters. I will definitely need to get my hands on everything by author Maggie O’ Farrell.
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