In 1880, housemaid Ada Curtis bore the first of several illegitimate children from her employer, the son of a once-grand family now obsessed with its own threadbare nobility. More than a century later, inspired by the stories, re-inventions, and half-truths in her family's past, Elizabeth Speller - Gerald and Ada's great-granddaughter - sets out to trace the criss-crossing lines of their history. As she herself recovered from a mental breakdown, she began to wonder if that history offered any explanation of what had happened in her own life: What made my grandmother mad? What made us mad? The search resulted in a tale bringing vividly to life the passions and hopes of four generations, amid tales of wealth inherited and lost, eccentricity, sexual indiscretion, and madness.
Used availability for Elizabeth Speller's The Sunlight On the Garden
April 2006 : UK Hardback
April 2007 : UK Paperback
February 2012 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition