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The Sisters Mortland    by Sally Beauman order for
Sisters Mortland
by Sally Beauman
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

The three Mortland sisters breathed love, promise, and mystery in the summer of 1967. From intelligent Finn to beautiful Julia to small Maisie, they laughed, loved, and spied upon each other's lives at the decaying abbey they called home. Their artist friend Lucas captured them forever on canvas in a painting made during that time. As told from the perspective of thirteen-year-old Maisie, it was a summer of secrets which ended with a tragedy that would haunt the sisters, their friends, and their family for a lifetime.

Twenty years after this pivotal summer, Lucas's painting becomes the focus of a major exhibition in London. The exhibition once again draws the characters together, sparking deep emotions. Sally Beauman skillfully weaves together past and present as the sisters and their friends uncover the mysteries of that summer long ago. Whether seeking redemption, explanations, or lost love, the characters unfold from different and surprising angles.

This is a dramatic tale of three young women, and three young men who love them in different ways throughout their lives. The sisters captivate Daniel, a village friend; Nicholas, a neighbor training to be a doctor; and Lucas, the artist. Beauman's story leads the reader on a journey that is at times tragic, occasionally funny, but always innately human. Encompassing themes from class differences to the supernatural, The Sisters Mortland is above all a tale about perspective and its effects.

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