Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author Harriet Evans returns with the compelling tale of two entwined families and the summer that binds them forever.
The outstanding new novel from the Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author of The Garden of Lost and Found.
'It's a funny old house. They have this ceremony every summer . . . There's an old chapel, in the grounds of the house. Half-derelict. The Hunters keep bees in there. Every year, on the same day, the family processes to the chapel. They open the combs, taste the honey. Take it back to the house. Half for them -' my father winced, as though he had bitten down on a sore tooth. 'And half for us.'
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 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 a young girl, Jane Lestrange, 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. She and Kitty, the eldest daughter of the house, will forge a bond that decades later, is still shaping the present . . .
'We need the bees to survive, and they need us to survive. Once you understand that, you understand the history of Vanes, you understand our family.'
Prepare for the stunning brand new novel by Sunday Times top five bestselling author Harriet Evans. THE BELOVED GIRLS is coming summer 2021. You can pre-order your copy now.
A sweeping novel you won't put down - Katie Fforde on The Garden of Lost and Found
I can't remember the last time I was so enthralled and affected by a story and its characters - Red magazine on The Garden of Lost and Found
Comfort reading of the highest order - India Knight
The Butterfly Summer is an amazing achievement; heart-stopping and wonderful. It's an epic, sweeping, romantic story told brilliantly. - Sophie Kinsella
She's as good as the great Rosamunde Pilcher - Saga magazine on A Place for Us
Harriet Evans is the author of several top ten bestsellers, including the Sunday Times bestselling The Garden of Lost and Found and the Richard and Judy Book Club selection The Wildflowers. She used to work in publishing and now writes full time, when she is not being distracted by her children, other books, sewing projects, puzzles, gardening, and her much-loved collection of jumpsuits. Last year, she and her family moved from London to Bath.