A lonely young man discovers a new home—and a frightening secret—in an isolated English manor, in this “riveting [and] suspenseful” historical novel (School Library Journal).
Young Geraint does not know what to expect when he enters the remote, crumbling estate of Rhuddesmere. The unloved illegitimate son of the cold and scheming Baron of Wallestoke, Geraint has been sent to serve the beautiful, melancholy lady of the house and her brilliant, crippled son, and the warm welcome he receives surprises and pleases him greatly. But even as his affection grows for these strangers who have accepted him without question, the boy becomes ever more troubled with the passing of days. A suffocating atmosphere of tension and mystery surrounds this place and its mistress. When Geraint stumbles on the dark secret that the Lady of Rhuddesmere so carefully guards, he is forced to flee, setting in motion a series of devastating events that could have dire consequences for everyone who dwells within the castle walls.
Nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, Victoria Strauss’s acclaimed debut novel bridges the gap between historical fiction for youth and adults with a chillingly provocative Gothic tale that sheds a stark, revealing light on human cruelty, ignorance, and intolerance.