Aging Mrs. Orchard has gone into hospital and Clara, her neighbour’s daughter is feeding her capricious cat. At the same time, Clara’s teenage sister, Rose has an argument with her mother and leaves. The small community of Solace in Northern Ontario search the woods, but there is no sign of Rose. Clara stands by the window awaiting her sister’s return when she spies a stranger entering Mrs. Orchard’s house. Who is this man? Why are her parents lying to her? And why hasn’t Mrs. Orchard returned?
This novel is off to a slow start in the first two short chapters, but the small town setting, the characters and Lawson’s wonderful story telling had me engrossed by the third chapter.