"Nevis Island February 1831....The slave woman fell over the cliff's edge toward the black swirl of water that churned over the boulders reaching up from the sea. Her mistress crawled to look over the ledge. The stones bit her shins and left smears of blood on their jagged surface. She was unable to locate the body amidst the swells and rocks, unable to see through her tears, and the night, and the rain."Catherine Dall was the young daughter of a plantation owner on the Caribbean island of Nevis. Her mother suddenly passed away after giving birth to Catherine, leaving her to be cared for by her alcoholic father. She grew up loved by the hard working slaves who ran her father's plantation, they were the heart and soul of her home. Mami, the plantations house slave was the only mother she ever knew and it just so happened that Mami had given birth to a daughter about the same time that Catherine was born. Leah and Catherine were inseparable even as babies, sleeping with Mami every night together. Crossing the lines of skin color Catherine's love knew no color and she loved whole heartily. In a period when when whites ruled over the blacks Catherine had a different approach.
She loved the plantation slaves and felt extreme empathy for them when others would not even recognize that they were not animals. She knew they were human beings who had thoughts, feeling, and dreams. I developed a great respect for her she was not cruel and did have the strength to stand up for what she believed in. She deep inside of her she had this feeling that no matter how great Nevis was, it was built on the backs of the suffering of others and she knew it could not go on like this forever.
Then Meg enters set in modern day times in America. She is what most would call American elite, working for the mayors office, living in the NY, successful parents who had money. In the midst of preparing for her up coming wedding her parents were suddenly lost in a terrible car accident. Meg became lost in a world of chaos and seeked solace by going to her parents home. I felt every sting with Meg and as she walked through her parents home seeing how things had been left. It was like they were coming back, things like a coffee cup with her mothers lipstick still on the edge were traumatizing. At her fathers desk she found a stack of folders at the very bottom was a folder with an old picture of a plantation home in what looked like paradise. The word Nevis was written on the back she would find out later Nevis meant paradise. After trying to return to work Meg felt like the world was suffocating her and she ran. She called off the wedding, left her fiance behind, and took off to her newly inherited property in the Caribbean, called Nevis.
Upon her arrival she stays in a local bungalow close to Nevis. She came there with a reason and the reason was to decide what to do with Nevis. Everything would change once she laid her eyes on the old plantation house that was still standing on the property. The locals had told her it was haunted but she was never afraid. Meg later received disturbing news from her attorney that after reviewing her father estate he had found that her father for many years had been embezzling money from his clients. Once the clients found out they wanted their money back and even though her father was gone she had to find a way to pay them all back or be sued.
Meg decided to explore the house more and was shocked upon her entry that everything was as the last people had left it. Dinner plates on the table, and sheet music still on the piano with a pamphlet for the abolishment of slavery hidden in the pages. Something terrible had happened there. Why would everything still be there untouched for over 100 years? Had no one come to check on the house or it previous inhabitants. Where did all the people go and where was that mysterious piano music coming from that wafted into her bungalow at night? Would Meg's search for the truth behind Nevis lead her to Catherine or someone else entirely?
5/5 Muses A surprise new favorite of mine by far. Erika seamlessly told Meg and Catherine's story. Twisting and turning at every corner I was hooked the whole time. I think it became apparent that I loved it when I finished it in three days. Nothing but Praise for Erika and this mysterious tale of two women who became tied together by an act of fate and destiny. If you like a good mystery mixed with historical fiction and ghosts then this one should be on the top of you list.