A darkly beautiful dual-timeline novel with a captivating mystery, for fans of Diane Setterfield and Kiran Millwood Hargrave.
When Tartelin Brown accepts a job with the reclusive Marianne Stourbridge, she finds herself on a wild island with a mysterious history.
Tartelin is tasked with hunting butterflies for Marianne’s research. But she quickly uncovers something far more intriguing than the curious creatures that inhabit the landscape.
Because the island and Marianne share a remarkable history, and what happened all those years ago has left its scars… and some terrible secrets.
As Tartelin pieces together Marianne’s connection to the island, she must confront her own reasons for being there. Can the two women finally face up to the painful memories that bind them so tightly to the past?
Following the success of her bestselling debut The Book of Hidden Wonders last year, author Polly Crosby is back with her enchanting new novel The Women of Pearl Island. Set on an island full of intrigue and a dark history both women must face, I was captivated from page one.
Like her previous novel, Crosby once again immerses readers in a rich, atmospheric setting. From the eerie military base to the chapel remains, the island is vividly imagined and drenched in mystery.
The novel follows dual timelines, shifting back and forth between 2018 and the 1920s. As the story unfolds, we learn about Marianne’s childhood and how her family has tended the island for generations. But we also see how the island has changed Marianne in her older years – and not necessarily for the better. Marianne and Tartelin are both fascinating protagonists and Crosby’s character-work shines here.
The Women of Pearl Island is Crosby’s best work yet that once again showcases her talent for character, atmosphere, and beautifully haunting settings. This is an absolute 2021 must-read.