Skip to main content

Review: The Legacy, by Katherine Webb


Pages: 464
Original date of publication: 2010
My edition: 2011 (Harper)
Why I decided to read: Amazon.com recommendation
How I acquired my copy: Amazon, January 2011


The Legacy is one of those time-split novels, which jumps back and forth between the present day and 1902-5. In present-day England, Erica Calcott returns to Storton Manor, the place where she grew up, after the death of her great-aunt. Erica’s sister (and Erica herself) are both haunted by a secret dating from their childhood, which rises to the surface after Erica runs into an old childhood playmate. The story jumps back in time to Erica and Beth’s great-grandmother, Caroline, newly married and living on the Oklahoma frontier.

Normally I groan when I see one of these books in stores: “oh, no, not ANOTHER” time-split novel!” I think that the market is oversaturated with them. But I actually enjoyed this one, although I could more or less predict Erica and Beth’s story. The story moves quickly, and I was equally interested in these women’s stories—although I for one couldn’t stand Caroline; I thought she was incredibly selfish and mean (in the sense of little) for doing what she does. Erica is a little flat as a character, though, and I thought her “investigation” of her great-grandmother’s story wasn’t really an investigation. Every time the story jumps back to Caroline, it seems as though Erica automatically knows by osmosis or something what happened all those years ago.

But I really did enjoy the story; there were a number of plot twists that I thought were unique and original. It took me a little bit of time to get into the story, but when I did so I found myself really enjoying it. The author’s prose style isn’t really developed yet, but I thought her use of the present/past tense for each of her heroines was clever. In all, I thought this was an enjoyable book about the power of memory to play tricks on us, and about different people remember different things about the past.

Comments

Marg said…
I read this last year and thought it was not bad - good enough for me to know that I will read whatever she comes up with next.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Invitation to the Waltz, by Rosamond Lehmann

Pages: 304Original date of publication: 1931My edition: Why I decided to read: I found this while looking on ebay for Virago Modern ClassicsHow I acquired my copy: bought secondhand on ebayInvitation to the Waltz is one of those coming-of-age-stories. Unlike, for example, The Crowded Street, which focuses on a young woman’s entire coming-of-age experience, Invitation to the Waltz focuses on just one moment in seventeen-year-old Olivia Curtis’s life: a coming-out ball, the seminal moment in the life of any girl of the period (approximately the 1920s). Olivia is neither the most beautiful nor the most vivacious girl at the party, and she’s apprehensive about the evening and all it entails. This is not one of those “high action” books, but it gives a lot of insight into the thoughts and feelings of a girl making the leap into adulthood. I think if I had read this book ten years ago, I would have completely identified with Olivia—she’s shy and retiring, and unsure of herself. Her dress is…

The Sunday Salon

What a crazy week this has been! My cousin, who’s ten, was in town for most of this past week, and since he’s high energy, it’s taken a lot of energy especially out of my mom, who also had to deal with my 87-year-old grandmother. Plus. my sister was in town for the weekend, so it’s been mostly crazy around here. All of my posts this past week have been scheduled; and I only got around to writing a bunch of outstanding reviews yesterday afternoon. It’s quieter here now that my mom has driven my sister back to New York, and I’ve spent much of today catching up on sleep and, of course, reading. Right now I’m reading one of my Virago Modern Classics: The Rising Tide, by Molly Keane (though it was originally published under her pseudonym MJ Farrell). I’m really loving it; the author really knew how to combine wonderful (sometimes exasperating) characters with a great plot. I’ve been cruising Ebay for more books by Molly Keane, since I’m living her writing style. This is easily one of the b…

Read in 2014

January:
1. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
2. The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome, by Tony Attwood
3. Mozart and the Whale, by Mary and Jerry Newport
4. Handling the Truth, by Beth Kephart
5. Girl, Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen
6. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
7. Them, by Joyce Carol Oates
8. Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys

February:
1. Random Family, by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
2. I Was Told There'd Be Cake, by Sloane Crosley
3. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
4. Twilight Sleep, by Edith Wharton
5. Twirling Naked in the Streets, by Jeannie Davide-Rivera
6. Hungry Hill, by Daphne Du Maurier
7. Me, Myself, and Why, by Jennifer Ouilette
8. Lady Chatterley's Lover, by DH Lawrence
9. The Wise Virgins, by Leonard Woolf

March:
1. Out With It, by Katherine Preston
2. Never Have I Ever, by Katie Heaney
3. Look me in the Eye, by John Elder Robison
4. Beyond, the Glass, by Antonia White
5. Atypical, by Jesse Saperstein
6. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, by Maggie O'Far…