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The Legacy: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, August 30, 2011

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Paperback, Bargain Price, August 30, 2011
$22.77 $12.04

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Editorial Reviews


“Stunning, unforgettable....Webb’s skillful, urgent writing is impossible to put down and more impossible to forget.” (Booklist (starred review) on The Legacy )

“An intelligent and addictively readable novel.” (Historical Novels Review on The Legacy )

“Webb winds her way through three generations of women by following the path of grief created by a broken heart, crafting characters you care about and a story you won’t soon forget: poignant and completely engrossing.” (M. L. Malcolm, author of Heart of Deception )

“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) )

From the Back Cover

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.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062077309
  • ASIN: B0085S9IJI
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,886,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Both stories are engrossing and well told.
I really wanted to like this book, but alas; I did not.
M. M. OCallaghan
I found it difficult to engage with the characters.
helen meyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ameya on December 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
There is nothing for it: the book grabbed me by the collar and had me ensnared for the first third. I could not put down. Then a strange thing happened. It started to repeat itself: first it was the historical details of the family, then the atmosphere of Oklahoma, through to the repetitious nature of the narrative about the childhoods of the protagonist, Erica Calcott, and her sister, Beth. I believe the book would have been improved by pruning by a third.

There was, for me, a large void in the centre where nothing much happened. The atmosphere of the house and the English countryside pervaded, there was the fear that something untoward might happen to young Eddie as a repetition of the earlier disappearance, but there was no real plot development to sustain my interest. I skim-read through the 2nd third and most of the third, driving forwards to see if my guess of the mystery of Henry's disappearance was correct. I hoped like anything I was wrong, and am pleased to say that the author, Katherine Webb, retained the upper hand as I did not guess what would happen.

That said, the negative natures of certain characters, who shall remain nameless to avoid spoilers, and the consequences of their horrific actions were thought-provoking, and remained with me during the time I spent reading the novel and afterwards. There was the message that one is nurtured or born to repeat those very same behaviours that one loathes the most in one's primary caregivers. That was certainly the case in the case of Caroline who returned to her snobbish, upper-class roots.

I recommend The Legacy for the authentic portrayal of times and places. It was haunting and I did not see the twist coming. It was well worth waiting for. It is a good book that fell a little short of its potential to be a great book.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Shazjera on September 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
The prologue in 1905 sets the scene on this totally absorbing journey of how the past can send ripples along time in a family to affect the present. It hooks you in straight away with intrigue, leaving you wanting to find out why this is happening and what bearing it has on the story of four generations of Calcott women.

Erica and sister Beth return to Storton Manor in the winter after the death of their grandmother Meredith. Meredith has set terms for their inheritance of the Manor - they have to live there to inherit. We find out straight away that there are memories that Erica can not recall surrounding the disappearance of their cousin, Henry. We find out that Beth is mentally unwell and had been hospitalised. It is the first time they've stayed at the Manor without their parents and everything is in a state of disrepair and neglect.

We then return to 1902 in New York City, following Caroline (who is great grandmother to Erica and Beth) as she starts her journey of being presented to society as a debutante.

The story is told by alternating chapters. The present time is written in the first person from Beth's perspective where we read about the triggers she experiences that takes her back twenty three years ago to Henry's disappearance. Erica also stumbles on a photograph of Caroline taken before she came to London and married Henry Calcott and leads to her searching through the Calcott family history to try to solve an enigma. Caroline's story is written in the third person and charts her life from New York City to the frontier land of Woodward County and prairie life and finally to England.

I enjoyed this balance of one era being told forwards in time while the other is narrated with flashbacks and reflection of the past.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By bookreader "Melanie" on November 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I liked this story, the setting, the characters that where fascinating to me, however I felt it moved along very slowly. Yet everytime I stopped reading, I eventually was pulled back to find out more about the hidden family secrets. I did really love how the book was told by two different women's perspectives. One in the early 1900s and the other in the present day. Each section left you hanging off for more while it switched.
The first story involves Caroline, a beauiful heiress who eventually turns bitter. The other chapters introduce us to two sisters, Beth and Erica both of whom return to Storton Manor in England following the death of thier grandmother. The sisters are flooded with memories of their summers there and also of the mysterious disappearance of their cousin, Henry.
Erica sets out to discover what really happened. However, she uncovers a family secret involving their great grandmother Caroline.
I did enjoy the book and would recomment it to readers who don't need lots of action and fast paced chapters. This story slowly takes shape but the family secrets are wickedly naughty and the book left me wanting just a bit more.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on August 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
Erica and Beth Calcott face the unpleasant task of moving into their grandmother's stately manor home. Having spent time there as children, their grandmother's will states they must live there together or sell the home. However, living there reopens old wounds including the mysterious disappearance of their cousin Henry. While sorting through things, Erica soon discovers that their great-grandmother Caroline also had some secrets. Covering the mysterious pasts of both Erica and Caroline, this book tells the story of heartbreak, depression, and betrayal, and their affects across multiple generations.

This book started out so slow. I thought I wasn't going to be able to finish it really. However, I forced myself to stick with it, and I'm glad I did. Once the story picked up, it was awesome. I didn't want to put it down. I think Caroline's story was the most interesting. It took me a while to put together the pieces of that puzzle. It was extremely sad to see that her impulsive decisions twisted her life and her descendants so much. I felt bad for her, but I also was upset with her. I also wondered what would have happened if they had been able to diagnose and treat what I suspect was a case of major depression in Caroline.

I thought Erica was fairly interesting. She was trying to do the best she could to take care of herself and her sister, and I can see how that could be very trying. I did see the major "twist" or surprise for Erica coming a mile away though. I don't know if I'm just a lucky guesser, or if it was just that obvious. Overall, I really enjoyed the book. So if you think it starts off a bit slow, keep giving it a shot. In the end you are treated to a very complex and interesting tale that is worth your time to read.

Galley provided by publisher for review.
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