The story goes back and forth between relatively modern times and the turn of the century when Anna was a young woman bearing children. Parts of it consist of Anna's diary entries. Intriguing and pleasant to read.
This was my first Ruth Rendell book to read. At first I didn't think I would like it as I've never been one for diaries, but once I started reading and got into the story I was hooked! But for me I didn't feel it was a mystery or at least not like any mystery I've ever read. The story definitely gives an incite into the life of a 1900's Danish wife and mother Anna, transplanted to England, her unhappy marriage, her 2 sons, she really wanted a daughter and finally when she did get a daughter Swanny, she was her favorite! She filled her days by writing in her diary, starting at the age of 25 and continuing for over 50 years. Later the story is told by the niece of Anna, as she delves into the life of Anna via the diaries, Swanny and Swanny's sister Marie/Maria. When Swanny is about 50 she receives an anonymous note telling her she is not the daughter of Anna and her husband Rasmus, so from there the mystery begins. A great read, I finished it in 2 days!
Anna is a young woman living in turn-of-the-century Londan, confiding her rebellious thoughts and well-guarded secrets only to her diary. Years later, her granddaughter discovers that a single enry has been cut out - an entry that may forge a link between her own mother's birth and a gory, unsolved murder in the long hot summer of 1905. But by whom? And why? Ann Easterbrook, embarks on a dark journey into a forbidden history, to a place where truth, passion, and deceit are explosively intertwined. An eerie tour de force from Barbara Vine.
"Barbara Vine has already won the Edgar and the Golden Dagger, but her latest novel deserves both those awards and more. Brilliantly plotted...engrossingly told...utterly riveting..wonderfully real...fascinatingly unconventional...with clues that will keep even the most adept mystery bluffs guessing...proves what most readers have known for years...BARBARA VINE'S PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE NOVELS ARE AS GOOD AS CRIME FICTION GETS"