Out March 2010
William Melville’s daughters are heiresses to the world’s most exclusive fashion dynasty. Beautiful and rich, they are envied by all. But behind the glittering façade of their lives, each girl hides a dark secret that threatens to tear their family apart.
Smart, ambitious Elizabeth knows how to manipulate every man she meets, except the one who counts: her father.
Gentle, naïve Caitlin, the illegitimate child, struggling to fit into a world of privilege while staying true to herself.
Stunning, spoilt Amber, the party girl with a weakness for bad boys; more fragile than anyone realises.
As each of them seeks to carve out her own destiny, Elizabeth, Caitlin and Amber face difficult choices, which will take them in wildly different directions. But as old wounds resurface and threaten to destroy the foundations of the Melville empire, their paths will cross again. Because the simple truth is that, no matter how far you go, you cannot escape the claims of family.
I have to admit when this book came I looked at in fear. At 567 pages, I thought this would beat me. “If I hate it I’ll never be able to get to the end to review it.” How on earth would I find the time to read it? Well, I shouldn’t have worried as I read it in two, long sessions. With ease. With pure enjoyment. With an ever-growing desire to read more and find out more about the Melville family.
From London to Paris and New York, the reader will find themselves submerged in glamour and style, secrets and heartache. Three sisters, two full and one half, are brought together at their father’s insistence; each with a distinct personality and not one with the desire to be the same. Elizabeth, the eldest, is intelligent, driven and desperate to please her father. Amber, the youngest, has her mother wrapped around her little finger and relies on her beauty to get what she wants. Caitlin is the odd-one-out, the half-sister no-one knew existed until she was 15 years old. William is their inept father who thinks that by throwing money at a problem it is solved.
At first glance, I thought this book would solely focus on Caitlin and the relationships she would be forced to grow. I was wrong; so, so wrong. Each of the sisters is treated equally in the book and dear old Daddy has his fair share of attention. Miss Hyland has created a world of fashion, deceit and family honour that I was easily lost in. Being a naturally nosey person (as I feel most readers are) I was desperate to read more to find out more about the Melville family secrets and if the sisters would finally bond and work together.
As a debut novel, this is one of the best I’ve read. I’m desperate to read more of Miss Hyland’s work, so please get writing.
By Sarah Keery