Dark Angel Author:Sally Beauman Sally Beauman's novel Destiny was an international best seller that introduced a mesmerizing new voice to the world of fiction. Now she turns her startling talents to a story that entwines past and present, a lush and ambitious novel of a wealthy English family and the outsider who enters their lives, ultimately to control them. — It is on a gal... more »a April weekend in 1910, at th cavendish family's Wiltshire estate, that a terrible, freakish event occurs-an accident that may have been a murder. One person, at least feels sure that it was: ten-year-old constnace Shawcross, who has accompanied her unscrupulous father to Winterscombe for the weekend. From that time on, constnace's life is inextricably bound up with the Cavendishes, and as years ass, new doubts and fantasies about them take hold in her mind.
While World War I rages, Constance blossoms from sullen waif to coolheaded dazzler, becoming an irresistible riddle to the young men of the Cavendish family. Cor each in his own way has been seduced by Constance, each has succumbed to the potent charms that have the power to break men's hearts . . . to break men.
Only in one man does Constance see an escape from her destructiveness, and when he eludes her, Constance declares war on love. In the spirit of conquest, she succeeds in making a splendid marriage and, with her husband, moves to America. There, she becomes a brilliant, sometimes scandalous, fixture in New York society. And there, she hears of the deaths that will give her custody of Victoria Cavendish, her Godchild.
to Victoria, bereft and unhapy, Constnace is an enchantress, unfailingly generous and kind . . . until Victoria makes the mistake of falling in love. Only then does she feel the force of her godmother's possessiveness, only thendoes she discover how well versed in the art of deception Constnace really is. Yet even after Victoria breaks with the woman who raised her, she finds that no one can escape the past. now, years later, comes a gift to Victoria: Constnaces's diaries. But are they a gift of love, or a final malicious tease, holding the power to destroy?
the central enigma of Dark Angel is not only what happened on that ill-fated April weekend in 1910, but more Who is Constance Shawcross? the answers are found in the complex tapestry of truth and lies that is every family's history. And in discovering Constnace-the ternished angel whose every loving impulse gives way to the darkness within her-Victoria begins to discover herself as well. Here, in a novel spanning more than sixty years, is a haunting portrait of a vanished class and era, and an imtimately wrought story of a family and the fascinating woman who transforms their lives.« less