If you’re a fan out Downton Abbey, then you’ll like WINTER COTTAGE.
The story starts out in the not so distant past as a young girl begins her senior project by interviewing long-time resident and centenarian, Mrs. Catherine Buchanan: owner of Winter Cottage. I was immediately drawn in by these two characters; so very different from each other, but clearly kindred spirits. What tales did Mrs. Buchanan have to tell, what secrets of the rich and powerful did she have to spill?
We then switch to the present with Lucy Kincaid returning to her mother’s hometown, a place she’d never even heard of until her mother was dying, and to a property that no one knows why was willed to her mom and now her. So we have that mystery. Plus, there’s the mystery of why her mom ran away the day before graduation and who is Lucy’s father. If all of that weren’t enough to draw you in, you have wonderful, witty, charming characters like Arlene (Lucy’s mom’s high school best friend), Hank Garrison (I completely fell for this guy with his honestly and a streak of integrity a mile wide…so refreshing), and of course, twelve year-old Natasha.
The story bounces back and forth from the distant past (1916) to the near past (1988), to the present as you learn about these women’s lives and the choices they’ve made. I was totally taken by the story of “Claire,” a seamstress working for the wealthy Buchanans. Oh, how different life was a hundred years ago, and not necessarily for the better. It was a fascinating and believable tale of life and relationships between the upstairs and downstairs residents.
And just as I was captivated by Claire’s story, so was I with Lucy. The characters are well developed and the plot is solid, with good characters that you like, love or in some cases, hate. It’s a tale of home and ties that bind, and of family and one not to be missed.