Connected through time to her great-grandmother by a shared English countryside home, an American nurse tries to piece together her family's tangled history in this new historical novel from the acclaimed author of At Summer’s End.
England, 2014: Audrey Collins knows only two things about her beloved grandmother's past: She was born into nobility and she immigrated to America at seventeen years old. So when Audrey inherits her gran's home in North Yorkshire, she arrives expecting a sprawling country estate fit for lords and ladies. Instead, she finds an abandoned stone cottage perfectly preserved as Gran left it when she fled in 1941—ration book and all—and begins to uncover what secrets her family has been keeping.
France, 1915: Lady Emilie Dawes is working as a nurse on the Western Front, grateful to have escaped the restraints of her restrictive, privileged home life. But the independence she fought hard to earn is suddenly jeopardized when a familiar man shows up in one of her hospital beds. Facing him means facing her past, and the decisions she had made in fear. As the war rages around her, Emilie realizes she cannot continue running from who she is until she decides who she truly wants to be.
Over a hundred years apart, Audrey and Emilie each struggle to find purpose, love, and a place to call home in this enchanting family saga celebrating the courage of underestimated women—and the power a secret can hold across generations.
About the Author
Courtney Ellis began writing at a young age and developed an interest in history from her grandfather's stories of World War II. After obtaining her BA in English and creative writing, she went on to pursue a career in publishing. She lives in New York.
Praise for At Summer's End “I loved everything about this book: the richly drawn characters, the evocative setting, the very heart and soul of the story within the pages. It’s everything you want in a novel for these times we are in. A sparkling debut from a new author we’re all going to want more from.”—Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Nature of Fragile Things
"Readers will be captivated by this stirring debut of love, family secrets and human frailties. Told with wit and tenderness, this story is as unique as its characters, Bertie and Julian Wakeford, an earl like no other. Ellis deftly captures the devastation of war and what it means to be comfortable in one’s own skin.”—Renée Rosen, bestselling author of The Social Graces
“Ellis’s lyrical, emotional writing brings the beauty of Braemore alive while revealing the complexity of the richly drawn characters as Bertie pursues artistic recognition alongside her emotionally charged love affair with Julian. Historical fiction fans will appreciate this.”—Publishers Weekly
“The lush setting and vivid characters are utterly captivating in Ellis' lovely debut.”—Booklist
“Superb... Readers will be filled with suspense, sometimes even anxiousness, but also cheer for Bertie’s boldness, her sense of accomplishment, and the decision she makes at summer’s end.”—Historical Novel Society