Britain is in the grip of the Great Depression and Mr. and Mrs. Crang are upset about it. At stake is their estate, Leith Hill, which can only be saved by the marriage of their daughter, Charlotte, to a suitable man of means. But the stubborn Charlotte has rejected every eligible bachelor introduced to her, leaving the Crang family with only one solution; an arranged marriage.
Charlotte’s Aunt consults with friends and finally locates a very suitable candidate for Charlotte’s hand. He is the Earl of Leighton’s son, a widower named William Brett, who manages his family’s tea plantation, Mossbrook, in Ceylon, the lush, tropical island off the southernmost tip of India.
Deeply hurt and saddened by her family’s decision, Charlotte embarks on the long voyage to Ceylon where she expects to find yet another dismal marriage prospect. But in William Brett, Charlotte finds the embodiment of aristocratic elegance with an extremely attractive personality to match. The chemistry between the two is instantaneous and as man and wife, they embark on their new life together with enthusiasm.
But their blissful union is soon threatened by the unexpected arrival of Nelda, the only child of William and his deceased wife. Soon, Nelda’s influence begins infusing Mossbrook like a mysterious virus and Charlotte finds herself beset by disturbing dreams. When the dreams begin to merge with her reality Charlotte begins to unravel. She seeks William’s help but neither of them is able to deal with the malevolent forces Nelda has unleashed. Events soon spin out of control as William and Charlotte find themselves in a turbulent and dangerous battle of wits with Nelda, eventually forcing them to grapple with events that threaten to end their marriage, ruin their estate, and ultimately claim their lives.
- Samantha Brooks, January 2012
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