It was the day when everything stopped, and something started that was quite different, that couldn't be controlled or shaped or ended.
At a quarter past two on a Wednesday afternoon in August, Anna’s headstrong older sister, Rose, disappears. Twenty years later, and Anna still doesn’t know whether Rose is alive or dead. In her early thirties now, she sees her future unfolding – with sensible, serious Martin and a grown-up, steady job – and finds herself wondering if this is really what she wants.
Unable to take control of her life while the mystery of her sister’s disappearance remains unsolved, Anna begins to search for the truth: what did happen to Rose that summer afternoon?
A Radio 2 Book Club choice
- Published in hardback by Doubleday, and in Black Swan paperback as Missing Rose. Also available as a Kindle edition.
"Dark, scary, intriguing. I love it very much." - Simon Mayo
"... the kind of slow-burning secrets that only the mature can endure ... The episodic nature of the story and the scenic way Newbery creates the moments that make up Anna’s life, past and present, tease her story out until the reader can share in her frustrations ... Newbery’s writing has taken on a languid and luxurious feel for her grown-up readers and it feels like this is a story she has relished spending time in." - We Love This Book
"Linda Newbery's first adult novel is marked by the same slowly unspooled suspense as her 2006 Costa Award-winning YA novel Set in Stone." - Telegraph
“A beautifully written book which doesn't rush to exert its hold. But when it does, it will not let go … it’s quiet and complex: a gripping and disconcerting read. With this accomplished and subtle story, Linda Newbery shows that no age group is beyond her reach.” - Sue Purkiss, A Fool on a Hill
"You'll have to trust Linda Newbery, but there's no risk in doing that. Pay attention and you'll be rewarded because this story is very skillfully plotted ... it's not until the final few pages that it all comes together in a very satisfying ending. The characters - particularly the women - come off the page and demand that you hear them out. It's superb, thought-provoking stuff." - The Bookbag
A reader-teasing mystery in the tradition of Wilkie Collins and the Victorian Gothic novel, set in 1898. Fourwinds, a country house close to the South Downs, is the pride of its owner, wealthy widower Ernest Farrow. Samuel Godwin, a gullible young artist employed by Farrow as painter and tutor, is irrevocably drawn into the lives of the three young women at Fourwinds: demure Juliana; Charlotte Agnew, governess and companion, who reveals little of her thoughts and aspirations; and Marianne, the younger daughter, passionate, wilful and unpredictable. Intrigued by Marianne to the point of obsession, Samuel little suspects how thoroughly he is being manipulated.
It's not only the people who fascinate. Samuel is equally entranced by the house itself: Fourwinds, beautifully designed and furnished in Arts and Crafts style, a house to delight and surprise with the attention paid to every detail. What, though, can account for the absence of the West Wind carving, and the disappearance of its creator, the gifted sculptor Gideon Waring, whose name must never be mentioned in Mr Farrow's hearing? Awed by Waring's skill, Samuel longs to meet him and see more of his work. But in doing so, he uncovers secrets that are both horrifying and dangerous to all ...
"To handle stone is to handle the stuff of life and death, of time and change, the mysteries of the Earth itself..."
"This beautifully crafted book unveils secret after secret, surprising, shocking, and keeping the reader guessing." - Good Reading Magazine, 5-star review
"... works on every level. The plot is full of twists, the characters are multi-dimensional, and the atmosphere is electric." - Glasgow Herald
"... succeeds so brilliantly not through sensationalism but the virtuosity of the style." Independent.
"... the truth unfolds with staggering consequences ... Newbery writes with grace and immediacy, making the events of an earlier century vivid." - Telegraph
"... Newbery's masterpiece of storytelling." - Oxford Times
Available in paperback from Black Swan, and also as a Kindle edition.