Woman in the Lake
by Cornick, Nicola

When a mysterious gown she stole as a child is returned to Fenella Brightwell, it begins to possess her mind, and the life she has created for herself is threatened by the gown's power until she cannot tell what is real and what is imaginary.

Upon returning home to Swindon in Wiltshire following the end of her marriage to the abusive Jake, Fenella Brightwell finds herself once again in possession of a beautiful golden gown that she filched back when she was a schoolgirl on a class trip to Lydiard Park, a stately home. Or rather, it would be more accurate to say that the gown is once again in possession of her, since it seems to exert a malignant control over anyone who comes in contact with it. In an alternative time line some 250 years earlier, the gown is presented to Isabella by another abusive husband, Eustace, lord of Lydiard Park. A third narrative layer is provided by Isabella's maid, Constance, whom Eustace has engaged to spy on his wife. Murder, kleptomania, smuggling, secret tunnels, and a pinch of time travel all get thrown into the pot, but at its heart, this is the story of three women struggling to find themselves and break free of the past. Give it to readers who would enjoy a mix of history, mystery, and fantasy. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

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