Dunedin Athenaeum & Mechanics Institute

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Palace of Tears by Julian Leatherdale (October 2015)

Angie loved Mr Fox's magnificent, absurd hotel.  In fact, it was her one true great love.  But ... today Angie was so cross, so fed up with everybody and everything, she would probably cheer if a wave of fire swept over the cliff and engulfed the Palace and all its guests.

A sweltering summer's day, January 1914: the charismatic and ruthless Adam Fox throws a lavish birthday party for his son and heir at his elegant clifftop hotel in the Blue Mountains.  Everyone is invited except Angie, the girl from the cottage next door.  The day will end in tragedy, a punishment for a family's secrets and lies.

In 2013, Fox's granddaughter, Lisa, seeks the truth about the past.  Who is this Angie her mother speaks of: 'the girl who broke all our hearts'?  Why do locals call Fox's hotel the 'palace of tears'?  Behind the grandeur and glamour of its famous guests and glittering parties, Lisa discovers a hidden history of passion and revenge, loyalty and love.

A grand piano burns in the night, a séance promises death or forgiveness, a fire rages in a snowstorm, a painter's final masterpiece inspires betrayal, a child is given away.  With twist upon twist, this lush, strange mystery withholds its shocking truth to the very end.
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