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Coral Glynn
Peter Cameron
Adult Fiction CAMERON

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Set in the English countryside in the aftermath of WWII, this quietly compelling sixth novel from Cameron (The Weekend) focuses on the story of the eponymous heroine, Coral, a nurse, sent to Hart House in 1950 to tend the dying Mrs. Hart. With great efficiency, Cameron introduces the other players: Mrs. Hart's son, Maj. Clement Hart, an embittered veteran wounded in the war; his friend Robin Lofting; the brittle, disapproving housekeeper, Mrs. Prense. But after Mrs. Hart dies, and Major Hart proposes to Coral, this seemingly well-realized homage to the postwar British novel quickly turns almost gothic. Walking in a forest near Hart House, Coral comes across a young girl tied to a tree. She's being pelted with pinecones by a young boy in a game they call Prisoner. Though she insists they stop, Coral takes no other action; the young girl is later murdered in the same forest; and suspicion-bizarrely-falls upon Coral. The book is suffused with a lonely sadness and an aura of the surreal, and the many dramatic events in Coral's life are entirely plausible thanks to Cameron's skill as a storyteller. Agent: Irene Skolnick, the Irene Skolnick Literary Agency. (Mar. 6) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

It is very rainy in spring 1950, when, having left her previous employment under questionable circumstances, Coral Glynn arrives at Hart House to nurse its ailing matriarch. Her only escape from the oppressive household and its difficult inhabitants-a demanding patient, her war-damaged son, and a malicious housekeeper-is to venture into the wet woods beyond the estate, where she discovers a boy and girl engaged in a dangerous game of capture. Shortly afterward, Mrs. Hart dies, and Major Hart, longing to escape his isolation and unhappiness, proposes marriage. But when the young girl from the woods is found hanging, suspicion immediately falls on Coral because of the hasty marriage, her own sketchy past, and her having told no one about the chance encounter with the girl. VERDICT Despite its Rebecca-like beginning-a Mrs. Danvers stand-in, a murder mystery, and a withholding husband-the first love in this story is not the major's first wife. As the reasons for his repressed emotions unfold, we see how they have led to many of the misunderstandings and plot twists that follow. With its atmospheric Fifties setting and stylish writing, this is one of Cameron's (The City of Your Final Destination) finest novels. [See Prepub Alert, 9/23/11.]-Barbara Love, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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