There are many elements in this novel, it's complicated. There are equal measures of history, intrigue, ancient rites, architectural trends and a fair few characters to keep track of but the narrative is so well done that it all melds together into a great tale.
We come to care about the characters, we love the idyllic coutry estate and we desperately want to know what happened to Kitty Easton.
The main character from The Return, Laurence Bartram goes to a country estate to help his friends (also from The Return) in the restoration of an old church on the property. Central to the church and the surrounding gardens is the idea and the design of a maze.
It is set just after WWII and the characters are all affected by it and there is quite a bit of social commentary woven into the story. Bartram served and so did the men and boys from the estate. Not many came back.
Bartram meets the family of the estate, the Eastons, over whom lies a cloud of misery and darkness since the disappearance of the fiver year old heiress, Kitty. She was gone in the middle of the night and no amount of searching over the ensuing fifteen years has provided even a clue of what happened. Everyone fell apart and the family cloaked themselves in silence. One of the characters put is beautifully "We talk a lot but we don't say anything."
Bartram falls into the role of confidant and slowly puts together the puzzle and searches for answers.
Very satisfying and beautifully told story. I hope Elizabeth is busy writing another novel!