Morrow, Apr 2003, 24.95, 383 pp.
Teenage Londoner Lottie Swift finds the seaside village of Merham quite delightful as no one dare break the rules of morality less they prefer exile or being ostracized. However, the conversion of Arcadia mansion into a retreat for bohemian artists causes monumental conflict, as the locals detest the nonconformist outsiders. Lottie relishes the new infusion of excitement that the avant-garde crowd brings.
Five decades later, Daisy Parsons arrives at the small back to sleep village to renovate Arcadia into a luxury hotel. The villagers once again abhor the thought of amoral outsiders descending on their hamlet. Insecure from a failed relationship, Daisy discovers a mural that portrays scenes from the mansion's ignominious past. Daisy's work begins destroying the emotional cocoon that Lottie has resided since her teen days.
WINDFALLEN is a well-written comparative character study that interweaves the past and the present into a cohesive tale. The story line enables the audience to see deep inside the two women so that everyone understands what motivates both and the tenuous relationship and bond which forms between them. Though limited in action, Jojo Moyes provides readers with a deep drama that focuses on the long-term impact of personal opportunity costs.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner