Meet Dick, Seena, and their four Marys: Mary Catherine, Mary Grace, Mary Tessa, and their youngest Amaryllis.
Seena has felt unloved and unvalued most of her adult life, so she escapes into her books, particularly her Greek myths and legends, to satisfy her desire to find meaning. Her life has been built on secrets and lies and she wants to protect her daughters from the truth she knows will destroy their happy home — it’s not until her own words to her youngest daughter explaining the contents of Pandora’s box come back to haunt her and foreshadow what’s to come: “Maybe, unlike hope, truth couldn’t be contained in a jar.”
Each Mary recounts her piece of the larger surprising and revealing story and each is unique and distinctive. Mary Catherine seems to be the strong, faithful one, who in deference to St. Catherine cuts off all of her hair, but she’s also a lost soul who desperately needs love and attention. Mary Grace is the eldest and the most beautiful — the one who easily seduces but is also easily seduced, especially when she’s faced with an exotic and fascinating culture so unlike her own. Mary Tessa is the investigative reporter, who will tell all and claims to be the most reliable when it come to the facts of her mother’s case, and then there’s Amaryllis, who was born with an extra sensory gift of seeing things others can’t see, of knowing when bad things are about to happen, and of telling when those who profess to know the truth are the biggest liars of them all…
Opening with the dramatic scene of Seena on trial in Africa for murdering her husband, this engrossing and lyrical novel flashes back to the year before she, Dick, and her four Marys left for missionary work in Africa and how the buried secrets of their past came back to haunt and heal them all.
Check out our reading group guide. This multi-layered book is sure to provoke interesting conversation at your next book club meeting.
Visit the authors website www.christinameldrum.com