This is an engaging novel and rather unusual. In a way, it’s like a dark Pollyanna meets A Child’s Christmas in Wales. In the idyllic town of Pequot Landing, in rural New England, lives a woman named Lady Harleigh. She is the ubiquitous widow and local celebrity. She lives in a grand house overlooking the park. She is notably generous but a mystery surrounds her.
This story, told from the point-of-view of one of the town children, primarily spanning just a couple of his childhood years.
My earliest recollection of Lady Harleigh stems from events not in Pequot Landing but in another place entirely. the picture of these events in spun out of the threads of dimmest memory, but they served, in later years, to shed a clearer light on what had been until then an inexplicable mystery. It involved Lady herself, a wire-haired fox terrier, a dish of tapioca, and a moonlight walk in a rose garden. ~Loc. 251
An adult narrator looks back on his childhood in general, but particularly how he came to discover Lady Harleigh’s secret. Because the story is told from a child’s perspective, the reader is drawn into his suspicions. Here is a scene that is all the more unsettling to a child’s mind, and therefore more unsettling for the reader.
She was standing in front of the mirror, staring at there wobbly reflection in the glass. She seemed unaware of me as I came in the room and walked to her side. I watched as long as I could in the mirror as a tear trickled down her cheek, then threw myself against her, holding her elbow in an awkward way, trying to squeeze her hand.
“Don’t, please, Mrs. Harleigh, please!” I hugged her and tried to think how I could make her stop. It made furious that a red-headed man in a snowstorm could cause such pain.
She was still staring are her reflection in the mirror. Her features looked distorted, narrowing and bulging with the imperfect glass. Then she wiped her eyes with my napkin in her hand, and as if to hide her image she hung the napkin on the mirror. ~Loc. 629
I’m also a new fan of the vintage books that Open Road Media have been putting out. These vintage books, and the “B” and pulp novels are fantastic discovery.
Tryon’s Lady is a great introduction to their growing library.
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File Size: 1012 KB
Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Open Road Media (September 24, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.