Winter Cottage by Mary Ellen Taylor, Kristen Watson Heintz (Narrator)
Published October 16th 2018 by Brilliance Audio
Lucy Kincaid’s mother, Beth, has recently lost her life to cancer. Beth’s last wishes were to have her ashes buried in the family plot in Cape Hudson, Virginia. Not only that, but Lucy finds out that she has inherited Winter Cottage, also in Cape Hudson. Lucy knows nothing about Beth’s earlier life as it has always been just the 2 of them. When she arrives in Cape Hudson, she finds out that Winter Cottage is not the intimate cottage she expected, but a huge, rambling mansion. While looking around the house, Lucy discovers videos that her mother Beth made of Mrs Catherine, giving her insight into Beth’s prior life as well as the life of the woman who left her house to people who were not family. Above all else, Lucy is hoping to find out who her father is.
The story has three separate timelines and it seems two separate stories. I enjoyed each of the storylines and was not sure how they would all fit together, but I had an inkling. The story was full of secrets, regrets, class structure and expectations as well as family situations and difficulties. I loved the characters of Lucy and Natasha. Natasha was a young teen who latched onto Lucy when her father ended up in jail once again. They developed a bond that was fun to read about and endearing as well. Hank, was the voice of reason throughout the book. He is the local lawyer, but he is also the man who wants Winter Cottage and is hoping that Lucy will sell to him. As the story unfolds, I felt bad for both Lucy and her mother Beth. Lucy did not know anything about her family, which wasn’t her fault. She never knew where she belonged or where she would go next. Beth left her home to protect her unborn child and because she also did not believe she fit in. The characters from the past also shared sad stories. The class structures that were in place in the early to mid 1900 guided families to make decisions we would not make today. There were a few twists at the end that pulled the various stories together and wrapped the story up nicely. The story lagged a bit in the middle but overall this was a well-paced story.
I listened to the audio book of this story and enjoyed the narration for the most part. My one complaint is that the male voices did not sound very male. I was confused about who was speaking until I got into the book and became used to the various voices used. The expression and intonation was good and overall I enjoyed the audio book.
About the Book: A gripping novel about family secrets…and coming home for the first time.
Still grieving the loss of her wandering, free-spirited mother, Lucy Kincaid leaves Nashville for the faded town of Cape Hudson, Virginia. She goes to see the house she’s inherited—one she never knew existed, bequeathed to her by a woman she’s never even met. At the heart of this mystery is the hope that maybe—just maybe—this “Winter Cottage” will answer the endless questions about her mother’s past…including the identity of her birth father.
Rather than the quaint Virginian bungalow Lucy expected, Winter Cottage is a grand old estate of many shadows—big enough to hold a century of secrets, passions, and betrayals. It also comes with a handsome and enigmatic stranger, a man next in line to claim Lucy’s inheritance.
Now, as Lucy sifts through the past, uncovering the legacy of secrets that Winter Cottage holds, she’ll come to discover as much about her family history as she does about herself. In searching, she could finally find the one thing she’s never really had: a home.