To all appearances, Isobel and Giles Grant have it all: happily married, with two adored children, and a glorious house in Scotland, they are about to fulfil a lifetime's dream by launching the Glendrochatt Arts Centre. The perfect life, it would seem. But beneath the surface, there are cracks which threaten to destabilize everything they've worked for. While their daughter Amy is bright and talented, her twin Edward is "different" -- nobody knows quite what Edward is. And Giles's talent for manipulation occasionally threatens to provoke even sunny Isobel.
When Isobel's elder sister, Lorna, returns from South Africa -- and an unhappy marriage -- to take up residence at Glendrochatt, the cracks widen. For Lorna was once Giles's lover, and she's determined to take him back. The scars of a difficult childhood run deep in Lorna, and watching Isobel live the life she had planned for herself is almost unbearable. The situation is further complicated by the arrival of Daniel, an undeniably talented but mysterious artist to whom both sisters are drawn. It seems as if the Grants might be thrown irrevocably off balance.
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MARY SHEEPSHANKS was born and raised at Eaton, where her father was a housemaster. She is also the author of Picking Up The Pieces and A Price For Everything.From Publishers Weekly:
A long-held sisterly grudge threatens to destroy a loving Scottish family in this country-house family drama. Glamorous divorc‚e Lorna returns from South Africa to summer with sister Isobel and Isobel's husband, Giles Grant, at their Scottish estate, Glendrochatt. The Grants are planning to establish an arts center on the premises, and Lorna is officially engaged to help out; unofficially, she is focused on enticing her erstwhile lover, Giles, away from Isobel. Lorna, always beautiful but never as well loved as her charismatic sister, is desperately bitter and determined to seize her share of happiness. Complicating matters further is the presence at Glendrochatt of a sexy young painter, Daniel Hoffman, who has his eye on Isobel. The Grant children, 11-year-old twins Amy and Edward, sense the heightening tension, and semi-autistic Edward is particularly troubled by his aunt's presence. Colorful secondary characters--muscular babysitter-workmen Mick and Joss and locals like Dr. Connor and eccentric Lord Neil Dunbarnock--lend the novel a pleasant air of British farce. The focus, however, is on the romantic drama, which involves much strategic maneuvering and little true passion. The characterization of cold, scheming Lorna as a soap-opera villainess unbalances the story, though given the cozy insularity of the privileged Scottish community she pits herself against, the reader will be tempted to root for her. Sheepshanks (A Price for Everything; Picking Up the Pieces) steps away from the lighthearted comedy of her first few novels, but she is at her best when she allows humor to lighten her perceptive tale of human frailty.
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Book Description Arrow, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0099173328