I really loved this family story about Lillian Oberon and her granddaughter Maggie who must navigate through a mixture of duty, rebellion, secrets, and betrayals as they try to find happiness and fulfillment in their lives, but often end up disillusioned. The story is set at the once lavish English estate Cloudesley that is now a crumbling mess and Maggie must find a way to preserve it and her family's legacy.— Sue
Two women who long for more, and a house that holds the key to their freedom…
From internationally bestselling author Hannah Richell comes this compelling story of hidden secrets, forbidden love, and a mysterious old house.
“A juicy mix of secrets and betrayals make The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell a perfect holiday read.”— Good Housekeeping (UK)
Two summers, decades apart…
Two women whose lives are forever entwined…
And a house that holds the dark secrets that could free them both.
1955: At twenty-six-years old, Lillian Oberon is young, beautiful, and married to the wealthy and handsome Charles Oberon. She is also the mistress of Cloudesley, a lavish estate. But not long after her nuptials, she begins to feel her marriage is a sham. Like the exquisite objets d'art, curiosities, and treasures her husband collects, she is just another possession captured within the walls of the grand countryside manor. With a sister and young stepson in her care, Lillian has made peace with her unfulfilling marriage and fate—until a charismatic artist visits for the summer and makes Lillian re-examine the choices she’s made.
The present day: Having abruptly broken off her engagement, Maggie Oberon escapes to Australia, hoping that the distance will make her forget the mess she’s made of her life. But when her beloved grandmother, Lillian, becomes ill, she must return to England and confront the past she ran away from. When she arrives at Cloudesley, she is dismayed to find the once opulent estate crumbling into decay. As Maggie scrambles to find a way to save the old property, she is unprepared to learn the dark secrets that have remained hidden behind the dark halls of Cloudesley. But within these walls also lies the key that could change its legacy—and Maggie’s life—forever.
About the Author
Hannah Richell was born in Kent and spent her childhood years in Buckinghamshire and Canada. After graduating from the University of Nottingham she worked in the book publishing and film industries in both London and Sydney. She is a dual citizen of Great Britain and Australia and currently lives the South West of England with her family. Hannah is the author of international bestsellers Secrets of the Tides (published in the US as The House of Tides) and The Shadow Year. The Peacock Summer is her third novel. Her books have been translated into fourteen languages.
“This moving novel of family and missed opportunity will appeal to fans of Barbara Kingsolver.”
“The prose is lush and full-blooming, the pacing taut, and the setting brilliant with light and color as the suspense builds, pushing each woman to her breaking point. . . . Lillian and Maggie are rich and complex characters, struggling to embrace passion and yet fulfill their duty, and their alternating stories balance well against one another, imparting lessons on life, love, family, obligation, and—most of all—the enduring power and beauty of art. An immensely satisfying read.”
— The Historical Novel Society
“Even more beguiling than her previous books. Stuffed full of family secrets, it’s a tale of longing and dappled sunlight and the shimmering heat of lust. Exquisite, glamorous and breath-holdingly plotted.”
— Veronica Henry
“Poignant, romantic and beautifully written, I was completely captivated by this dual narrative story about forbidden love. Hannah Richell is a gifted storyteller; The Peacock Summer a wonderfully immersive book. Absolutely gorgeous.”
— Kate Riordan
“A rich, evocative and very moving piece of writing. The story drew me in and kept me immersed right to the final pages.”
— Katherine Webb
“A juicy mix of secrets and betrayals make The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell a perfect holiday read.”
— Good Housekeeping (UK)