(Image from Barnes & Noble)
"... Our time was wartime ..." (235).
Longing for adventure, 23-year-old Pearl Gibson is thrilled to secure a position as a lady's maid to wealthy, glamorous Ottoline Campbell. The Scottish estate where the aristocrat spends her summers is peaceful, but full of its own quiet dramas. As Pearl becomes acquainted with the staff and grows closer to her employer, she begins to see the cracks in the Campbells' careful veneers.
With the threat of war creeping ever closer, life at the estate changes. As the men leave for the front lines, the women are left to fend for themselves. With fear and anxiety hanging over them, Pearl and Ottoline must figure out how to survive. Pearl is closer to Ottoline than to anyone else, but she's harboring a secret that could shatter her employer's frail existence ...
It's difficult to describe the plot of The Echo of Twilight by Judith Kinghorn because it doesn't have one. Not really. Episodic and character-driven, the novel meanders about with little focus. Which isn't to say that it's not engrossing. It is, but there also isn't a point in the story where I couldn't have put the book down and walked away. Kinghorn's prose is strong. I found her characters lacking, though. Besides Rodney and Mrs. Lister, none of them are very likable. Pearl has no real personality, which makes her story a bit dull. Overall, the novel's quiet, depressing, and not all that memorable. In the end, it was just okay for me.
(Readalikes: Hm, I can't think of anything. Can you?)
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and sexual content
To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of The Echo of Twilight from the generous folks at Penguin Random House. Thank you!