is a novel by the English author Kate Mosse
. The story is based in two time periods, 1891 and present day (2007), and follows two female protagonists.
In 1891, Léonie Vernier is a young girl living in Paris until an invitation from her uncle's widow Isolde prompts a journey to the Carcassonne
region with her brother, Anatole. Unknown to her, her brother and Isolde have been carrying on an affair, and he is being pursued by Isolde's jealous former lover, Victor Constant. For a while, they live an idyllic lifestyle in the country. However, Constant discovers where they are staying and sets out to exact his revenge.
In the present day, an American, Meredith Martin, is in France to research the life of Claude Debussy
for a biography she is writing. She is also trying to find out more about her biological mother. During the visit, she uncovers information that links her lineage to that of Léonie Vernier and discovers the truth about the events in Carcassonne during that period in history.
Most of the action takes place in the Domaine de la Cade, a stately home in Rennes-les-Bains
, which in 1891 is owned by Léonie's deceased uncle Jules and his wife Isolde of whom Anatole later marries. The house in Meredith's timeline has been repurposed as an upmarket hotel.
There are also parts of the book that are situated in Paris
at the same time as well as neighbouring towns and villages in the Carcassonne and the City of Carcassonne
The story features heavy... Read More