Lydia Langstone has no other choice, her brute of a husband and just slapped her across the face and this is the last straw. She may have very little money of her own, thanks to this husband, but she does have her self respect. Lydia strikes out on her own with the only place to go being her estranged father, Captain Ingleby Lewis, whom she has not seen since she was a child and now unfortunately he lives in a run down boarding house in Bleeding Heart Square. Since is is the 1930's in London, there are any other choices, so onward she must go.
Thus the story begins and takes on a life of its own. 7 Bleeding Heart Square was previously owned by a spinster names Miss Phillipa Penhow, who no one quite knows what really happed to her. There are rumors that she has moved to the states, but with only one letter in four years, even that is questioned. Once Lydia arrives she become aware of mysterious packages containing animal hearts addressed to the current home owner, a very unscrupulous Mr. Joseph Serridge.
From the beginning of this book I felt that I was constantly playing catch-up. Small parts were periodically revealed and I found myself saying, "oh, now that first part makes sense". There are may characters who I kept needing to remind myself who they were exactly and who they were related to and how they fit into this particular part of the story.
Complex in parts and drab in others, this is definitely a book that you have to pay close attention to. The ending is very good, you just have to be patient to get there.