Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Book: The Beloved Girls (March 2023)

By Harriet Evans

March 7, 2023

‘It’s a funny old house, Janey.  They have this ceremony every summer … There’s a chapel, in the grounds.  Half derelict.  The Hunters keep bees in there …’

Catherine, a successful barrister, vanishes from a train station on the eve of her anniversary.  Is it because she saw a figure – someone she believed long dead?  Or was it only a shadow cast by her troubled, fractured mind?

The answer lies buried in the past.

It lies in the events of the hot, seismic summer of 1989, at Vanes – a mysterious West Country manor house – where as a young girl, Janey, arrives to stay with the gilded, grand Hunter family, and where a devastating tragedy will unfold.  Over the summer, as an ancient family ritual looms closer, Janey falls for each member of the family in turn.  And she and the eldest daughter of the house will forge a bond which later, is still shaping the present …

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