The Legacy by Katherine Webb, another TV bookclub Summer Read. To 'save' myself about 50p I picked this up in Sainsbury's while looking for a book to go with To Kill A Mockingbird, having lost my copy of the latter. Just shows what a boon the supermarkets are to the writers they stock. Anyway, The Legacy was indeed a good summer read. The young author (see Newbury Times) posted her opening chapters on youwriteon.com and was taken up by Orion- see also the Bookseller.
This is a 'two sisters inherit large country house and uncover family secrets' novel - one secret in the early 1900s and one secret from the 1980s. Both stories are good, especially the one about rich girl Caroline who marries at 18, moves from New York to be a farmer's wife in Oklahoma and cannot cope. She does something dreadful and her unhappiness is passed down the generations. The modern-day narrator Erica is worried about her sister's depression and tries to find the cause.
It's quite difficult to talk about this novel without spoiling the story, so I'll leave you to look up the blurbs, about the book and the writer. I am sure Katherine Webb will go far. She's only 33 - and writes in the evening and at weekends as she works full time as housekeeper for another family. I thought the first page or two was somewhat overwritten but don't let that put you off. Her writing is fine after that. I see the book is in the bestseller charts now.
It's not clear when the novel is set, perhaps the 60s. Una the heroine seems a mixture of naivety and sophistication - probably that's what happens to young girls in the heat. I believe this has been a set book for teenagers (brave idea) but maybe the nuances can be better appreciated by adults.
I blogged about Rumer Godden's autobiography where there are more links. Thanks to Vintage Reads for inspiring me to buy some more of these pretty new paperbacks.