Three of the daughters—Hope, Julie, and Anna Page—are on a journey to learn more about Hope’s deceased mother, Allison Tantry, by visiting the writing cottage where she worked on her unpublished biography of Beatrix Potter.
Set in England’s Lake District, the reader is offered a view of what that place looked like, from the cottages and the surrounding waters to the various pubs and restaurants.
What the women discover first are some journals, some of which are written in code. And while they try to decipher these, we are also shown some backstory: for the mothers and the daughters since we saw them last as little girls and young women in the first book. The daughters, like sisters, have their rivalries. And, like siblings, some of those old issues remain.
Unlike the friendships of their mothers in the first book, the daughters were thrown together by their mother’s choices. They all varied in ages, much more like siblings than chosen friends. And while they maintained lifelong relationships with one another, I didn’t sense the same kind of bond between them that I saw with their mothers.
Can they put the old animosities behind them? Will they finally make peace with their own mothers’ choices? What will they take away with them after the journey? Their mothers’ expectations were a guiding theme as the women reconnected with one another.
The alternating chapters with Allison Tantry’s journals were like a conversation between Allison and Beatrix Potter, almost as if she were channeling her. The daughters decided that she was trying to inhabit Bea in order to accurately write about her.
An engaging story that earned 4.5 stars. Recommended for those who enjoy stories of family bonds and friendships.