This is a beautifully-written and sensitive story about a young woman who wants to discover why her grandmother and grandfather haven't spoken to each other for fifty years, and goes on a journey into their dark past. Along the way, she finds a love story of her own.
Miranda's grandmother, Anna, a clever and feisty woman, appears to hate her former husband Armand, but she is concerned about his welfare and sends Miranda to a boarding school in Geneva where he lives. Armand also seems to hate Anna and avoids her company at all costs. Why is this?
Miranda searches for their past, and discovers a terrible story of struggle, narrow escapes, and suffering in war-time Europe. She finds out that the answers to her questions are not the ones that she expected. She learns the truth about their relationship as their slow decline fills her with sadness.
Anna has left Miranda a legacy - a ruined house in France. At first, this is too much for Miranda, but she will also find love and peace here, perhaps a gift from her wonderful grandmother.
I highly recommend this book, although it is very harrowing at times.