A sensitive, percipient gem of a novel, by the author of Greenwillow, action is precipitated by character, while actually motivation runs far deeper, closer to the true self. The result is a subtle interplay of light and shadow, so that the reader feels wholly caught up in the people, the place and the events, wholly convinced that the end is predictable, only to find that the unpredictable end is the only possible one....Henrietta Blackwell returns to ""Great Island"" hoping to recapture her youthful relationship with her sister, Adelia -- actually unprepared for complete rejection and the villagers taking sides. Thirty years before Henriette had eloped with Charles, who was tied to a mad wife in England -- and with whom Adelia fancied herself romantically in love. Could an ancient ""sin"" -- a betrayal, if you would -- stand as a blot, when the relationship between Henrietta and Charles, now dead, had been otherwise flawless? It seemed inconceivable to Henrietta; inconceivable too that her childhood playmates -- and the current rector of the parish church -- as well as her sister, would play this out to a close. And then came Adelia's Lucy, a young echo of the young Henrietta, Lucy in love with a boatman's son -- and terribly afraid, afraid of her love and of her parents,- and of what Henrietta exacted. There were other voices heard -- even a witch played her part -- and at the last Henrietta was free perhaps to go back again, to Paris where the memories of life with Charles survived.