There are two heroines here: Vida Winter, a famous author, whose life story is coming to an end, and Margaret Lea, a young, unworldly, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father's shop. Vida has been confounding her biographers and fans for years by giving everybody a different version of her life, each time swearing it's the truth. Because of a biography that Margaret has written about
brothers, Vida chooses Margaret to tell her story, all of it, for the first time. At their initial meeting, the conversation begins:
"You have given nineteen different versions of your life story to journalists in the last two
years alone." She [Vida] shrugged. "It's my profession. I'm a storyteller." "I am a biographer, I work with facts." The game is afoot and Margaret must spend some time sorting out whether or not Vida is actually
ready to tell the whole truth. There is more here of Margaret discovering than of Vida cooperating wholeheartedly, but that is part of Vida's plan.
I was hooked from the start and it really kept me guessing right up until the very end when - I WAS WRONG!!! The descriptions and story line are strong, characters are well-built. It is certainly not a "McNovel" - this one is full of literary quality!