Emily finds herself married to a many she hardly knows, and living on a remote island in the north, surrounded by people with pasts and secrets that she doesn't understand. Emily is engaged to a very suitable man, a rising star in the political world from a good family. Then she meets Rory at a party and falls into a wild affair with him, they end up getting married after just a few months, and he whisks her away to his family home on a remote island in the far north.
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Emily immediately senses undercurrents and secrets, there is the beautiful but haunted Marina, married to a much older man; her brother Finn who is a responsible and capable man, setting up his medical practice on the island, and Rory's slightly mad but always interesting mother, Coco, with a series of admirers.
As events transpire, parties are thrown and drinks are drunk it comes out that Marina and Rory were madly in love, but Rory's father had an affair with Marina's mother so they were actually half brother and sister, so could not be together. Rory had fled the island, gone to London and met Emily, marrying her in a fit of desperation.
Rory and Emily's marriage deteriorates; she finds solace in the comforting arms of Finn before discovering she is pregnant. Finn behaves as a perfect gentleman; Emily decides she must give her marriage another try but finds Rory and Marina together when she returns home, and falls down the stairs as she flees from the house, losing the baby.
It then transpires that Rory's mother had an affair and his father is a dashing Italian, meaning that Marina and Rory are not related. Marina's elderly husband kills himself during a shooting party, leaving Marina and Rory free to be together. Finn is there to rescue Emily, but she realises that it is Rory that she loves, and returns, devastated to London.
Time passes and Emily hears of an exhibition of Rory's paintings at a gallery nearby, she can't keep away and visits it. She overhears that there is a painting of the artists true love that he won't sell, she expects to see a painting of Marina but discovers it is of herself instead. Rory comes after her and explains that he realised he was in love with her shortly after she left, and they live happily ever after.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked all of the crazy characters in Rory's family, specifically his mother.
Best scene in story:
I love the party for Coco's birthday where all kinds of revelations come out.
Opinion about the main character:
I like Emily's resourcefulness and her swings between wanting to make things better with Rory and get revenge on him, it feels like a realistic way to act in the situation.