London 1924 and Evelyn is struggling to deal with the loss of her brother James in the Great War and to make her mark as one of the first women solicitors. Her life is further complicated by the arrival of Meredith, claiming James was the father of her son. These elements are woven together with a murder and a child custody case to form a satisfying tapestry.
The period details are excellent, especially the recreation of Edwardian interiors. My main problem was that I didn’t warm to the main characters. I found Evelyn annoying and Meredith didn’t quite convince. However the secondary characters, particularly the chorus of women in Evelyn’s home, were excellent and I found the murder suspect, Wheeler, a complex character. The novel worked best when dealing with the aftermath of the War and Evelyn summed it up when she said ‘we are all broken.’
I think reader’s groups would find the issues of women’s roles in law and society a good starting point for their discussions.