The Legacy by Katherine Webb

In 1902, Caroline, a young woman from New York City, marries a rancher.  Although she adores him and he treats her well, she has great difficulty in adjusting to life on his isolated ranch.  Also, her longing for children is unfulfilled, and—to make this more painful– she fears that her husband is the father of a baby born to an Indian woman.

In the novel’s other plot, Erica and Beth, Caroline’s descendants living in modern England, inherit a manor house.  Under the terms of the will, they can only get the inheritance if they both live in the house.  When they return to the house–the scene of their childhood summers– in an effort to make a decision, Erica tries to find out what happened to their eleven-year-old cousin Henry, who suddenly  disappeared from the house’s grounds many years ago.  She learns amazing information about the family’s past, which was entwined with the lives of gypsies who camped on the manor house property.

Both of these interwoven plots are compelling, and many of the occurrences in The Legacy are shocking and totally surprising.

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)

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