Palace of Tears by Julian Leatherdale
Plot summary : The dazzling story of family, passion, secrets and vengeance, woven through the hardships of both World Wars, and revealing the intriguing history of the Palace, the opulent Blue Mountains hotel famed for its luxury and mysterious owner.
A sweltering summer’s day, January 1914: the charismatic and ruthless Adam Fox throws a lavish birthday party for his son and heir at his elegant clifftop hotel in the Blue Mountains. Everyone is invited except Angie, the girl from the cottage next door. The day will end in tragedy, a punishment for a family’s secrets and lies.
In 2013, Fox’s granddaughter Lisa, seeks the truth about the past. Who is this Angie her mother speaks of: ‘the girl who broke all our hearts’? Why do locals call Fox’s hotel the ‘palace of tears’? Behind the grandeur and glamour of its famous guests and glittering parties, Lisa discovers a hidden history of passion and revenge, loyalty and love.
A grand piano burns in the night, a seance promises death or forgiveness, a fire rages in a snowstorm, a painter’s final masterpiece inspires betrayal, a child is given away. With twist upon twist, this lush, strange mystery withholds its shocking truth to the very end. (Source : Allen and Unwin)
Review : I enjoyed this book so much and would recommend it to anyone living in the Blue Mountains and beyond for its setting in Medlow Bath’s Hydro Majestic Hotel, its Australian history and beautiful descriptions of familiar mountain places and scenery.
This book spans three generations over more than a century and has a twist in the end as well.
Read it soon!
Reviewed by : Carolyn
I loved this book. I found the historical references of great interest. I checked out many things to see if they were based in fact and was pleased to find that they were. I would be interested to know how close to fact some of the details of the Fox family story were to the Foy family story. Wish I’d been able to attend the recent author talk to ask this question!!
It is a great read, isn’t it? Some clever plot twists that I certainly didn’t see coming.
Look out for a photo exhibition at Springwood Library in the New Year of images from the Hydro Majestic and the Foy family and staff – HC