Alison Bliss, world-famous model and author of critically acclaimed Sweet Susan, walks into the sea on a "bluethroat morning". She becomes a greater icon in death than in life and the Norfolk village of Glaven, where she spent her final days, is soon a place of pilgrimage.
Six years later, her husband Harry, a schoolteacher, is still haunted by her suicide and faithful to her memory-until he meets nineteen-year-old Helen. The two begin an intense affair which is secretly darkened by the past. Harry is attracted by Helen's uncanny resemblance to Arabella-his great-grandfather's second wife-on whom Alison was basing her new book. Little was known about Arabella, except that she had drowned herself in the sea by Glaven. . . where Alison had traveled, only to mysteriously follow in her tragic footsteps.
I have had real trouble reading this book as Harry Bliss just seems to be chasing ghosts. I have to be honest and say I haven't actually finished reading this book as it was such hard work.
Harry is a teacher who's wife was a model who then suffered from anorexia and then becomes a writer but has issues that relate to her mother who was a poet. It seemed to me that she was a confused stranger in her own body and was trying to be what her mother failed to be. Harry is a completely in love with her even though he falls for his best friends daughter. I found it very hard to imagine Harry as anything but needy. He needed to know what happened to his wife in the two weeks before she died, he needed the press to be hot on his heels and he needed Helen to need him.
There are bits in the book which are Alison's notes in a note book that Harry gets from Erne Hingham who is Harry's grandfathers step-brother, although Harry doesn't find out the connection until late in the book and the connection between Erne and Alison. Erne's mother is Arabella the 2ND wife of Harry's great grandfather. Arabella also kills herself just as Alison Bliss does by walking into the sea naked.
The Story seemed disjointed to me one minute we are in a grave yard and Harry is making love to Helen then the next you are in an old house with Erne who is going back in time to when he was a little boy which appears to be a moment of senility normally halfway through him telling Harry about Arabella then you are reading Alison's notebook which is just a lot of how she feels a failure.
I really didn't like this book and would recommend you read something else.
Love Jo xx