THE LEGACY

Katherine Webb

When they were children, Erica Calcott and her sister, Beth, spent their summer holidays at Storton Manor. Now, following the death of their grandmother, they have returned to the grand, imposing house in Wiltshire, England. Unable to stem the tide of childhood memories that arise as she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings, Erica thinks back to the summer her cousin Henry vanished mysteriously from the estate, an event that tore their family to pieces. It is time, she believes, to lay the past to rest, bring her sister some peace, and finally solve the mystery of her cousin’s disappearance.

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When they were children, Erica Calcott and her sister, Beth, spent their summer holidays at Storton Manor. Now, following the death of their grandmother, they have returned to the grand, imposing house in Wiltshire, England. Unable to stem the tide of childhood memories that arise as she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings, Erica thinks back to the summer her cousin Henry vanished mysteriously from the estate, an event that tore their family to pieces. It is time, she believes, to lay the past to rest, bring her sister some peace, and finally solve the mystery of her cousin’s disappearance.

But sifting through remnants of a bygone time is bringing a secret family history to light—one that stretches back over a century, to a beautiful society heiress in Oklahoma, a haunting, savage land across the ocean. And as past and present converge, Erica and Beth must come to terms with two shocking acts of betrayal…and the heartbreaking legacy they left behind.

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  • Harper Paperbacks
  • Paperback
  • September 2011
  • 496 Pages
  • 9780062077301

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About Katherine Webb

Katherine Webb was born in 1977 and grew up in rural Hampshire, England. She studied history at Durham University, has spent time living in London and Venice, and now lives in Berkshire, England. Having worked as a waitress, au pair, personal assistant, potter, bookbinder, library assistant, and formal housekeeper at a manor house, she now writes full-time.

Praise

“This is a great yarn, spanning generations, with neat twists and a surprising ending.”Prima magazine (UK)

“Has it all—mystery, intrigue, history and a great big old house.”
—Radio Times
(UK)

“A haunting novel of betrayal.”—Woman and Home (UK)

“A brilliant and absorbing drama.”Good Housekeeping (UK)

Discussion Questions

How has the disappearance of their cousin Henry affected Erica and Beth Calcott? How about the other members of their family?

What is the relationship between Erica and Beth like as adults, as compared to when they were children? Have their roles changed?

How did Erica feel about Dinny when they were younger? Why do you think Erica is still attracted to him now?

Do you find Caroline Massey to be a sympathetic character? Do you feel that she and Corin Massey were a good match? Why or why not?

Why is Caroline jealous of Magpie? Is there any justification for what she ends up doing to Magpie and her family?

Meredith, Erica and Beth’s grandmother, is described as not a particularly warm or maternal woman. Why do you think she is that way? How much of it can be attributed to how her own mother, Caroline, brought her up?

Were you surprised to learn of Harry’s true identity? Why or why not? What were the clues that led you to this revelation?

Do you agree with Erica and Beth’s decision to keep the truth about Harry to themselves? In your opinion, is Harry better off this way?

Although present-day England and early 20th-century Oklahoma Territory seem very different, what similarities can you find between these two settings? For example, how about the way in which Dinny’s family and Joe Ponca’s family are treated?

What is the legacy that Caroline Massey has passed down to her descendants?