I came across this book purely by chance and am so glad that I did. I was looking on Google to see what books were set in Guildford and noticed that this one was and available from a local publisher. It appealed to my genealogical mind, so I ordered it and it arrived on Monday just in time for a business trip. I devoured the book during my 6 hours traveling yesterday.
Addie inherits a lovely house in Guildford from someone she does not know,but she understand that the deceased has links were her mother, who died in childbirth with Addie, In America. The people that Addie's mother was living with write to advise the would be grandparents of the death of their daughter to find that they do not want to accept responsibility for the child,and after a period of time, Addie is adopted by the couple. Addie has a happy and loved childhood, but finds that she has questions of her heritage and wants to "know" her deceased Mother, and she has no idea who her father is.....Inheriting the house is a catalyst for discovering the answers.
The link is the Addie's mother was god daughter to James, and it is his house that she has inherited. Addie sets out on a journey of discovery, and as with most genealogical type searches Addie soon finds that she has more questions than answers, and that she has to live with the decisions that her ancestors made.
The author has done obvious research into genealogical searches and mentions the huge references of birth,marriage and death records at St Catherine's House, of course they are not longer available in the serch room by that has occured since the book was published earlier in the year, and the reference to it in the book reminded me of days lifting those heavy books and battling for space with other researchers. Also the use of the surname of Daborn a very Surrey name!
Addie does meet living relatives, including her great grandmother, who she discovers was illegitimate and has spent the majority of her life in a hospital simply for having a child out of wedlock. There are tears of joy as the elderly lady realises that the young woman standing with her is not simply a stranger from the social but a relative, a descendant of the daughter she had been told had died. I could almost feel Ada's pain and anguish.
The genealogical search is just like a jigsaw, gathering the facts and placing what you know into the mix to build the picture, and that was done as we read of Addie's search.
Quite simply I loved this book, not just for the subject matter, but the way the story unfolds and evolves. I was there, within the pages.
Available from the publisher's website
Signed by the author.