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The Peacock Summer

Written by: Hannah Richell
Narrated by: Elisabeth Hopper
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Publisher's Summary

Two women who long for more and a house that holds the key to their freedom...

From internationally best-selling author Hannah Richell comes this compelling story of hidden secrets, forbidden love, and a mysterious old house. 

“A juicy mix of secrets and betrayals make The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell a perfect holiday read.” [Good Housekeeping (UK)]

Two summers, decades apart...

Two women whose lives are forever entwined...

And a house that holds the dark secrets that could free them both.

1955: At 26 years old, Lillian Oberon is young, beautiful, and married to the wealthy and handsome Charles Oberon. She is also the mistress of Cloudesley, a lavish estate. But not long after her nuptials, she begins to feel her marriage is a sham. Like the exquisite objets d'art, curiosities, and treasures her husband collects, she is just another possession captured within the walls of the grand countryside manor. With a sister and young stepson in her care, Lillian has made peace with her unfulfilling marriage and fate - until a charismatic artist visits for the summer and makes Lillian reexamine the choices she’s made.  

The present day: Having abruptly broken off her engagement, Maggie Oberon escapes to Australia, hoping that the distance will make her forget the mess she’s made of her life. But when her beloved grandmother, Lillian, becomes ill, she must return to England and confront the past she ran away from. When she arrives at Cloudesley, she is dismayed to find the once opulent estate crumbling into decay. As Maggie scrambles to find a way to save the old property, she is unprepared to learn the dark secrets that have remained hidden behind the dark halls of Cloudesley. But within these walls also lies the key that could change its legacy - and Maggie’s life - forever.

©2019 Hannah Richell (P)2019 HarperAudio

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  • Sudi
  • 2019-10-07


Peacock Summer is a sloooowww drive off a loooong cliff. I've listened to about 1/2 of it and am still waiting to care about the characters. Mostly the players are predictably limned; the aloof jerk of a husband in mid-century England; the pert pretty wife; the handsome daring stranger in the form of an artist the cold husband hires to transform with his painterly magic a particular room in an unused part of their mansion .
I bet you can guess what chemistry stirs.
There is duel timeline in which a granddaughter is enmeshed her grandmother's life in the present and the story switches back and forth in time, as many novels do these days.
So that any surprises that seem mundane to me but might be interesting to you are not revealed, I'll not outline any more of what I know, even though at 1/2 way through the book, I am putting it down. Maybe on a long drive somewhere, I'll listen in again but I need something more engaging right now.
The narrator is very good, if that helps.

1 person found this helpful