A body washed up on the shore of Lake Superior moves a family to rewrite its 100-year history in Webb's (The Vanishing, 2014, etc.) new novel, set equally in each era.
Lake Superior, which has always been known for its legends, one day reveals a new mystery when an unidentified body clutching an equally dead baby washes up on the shore near Kate Granger’s family home. Kate, who’s come to town only recently in an attempt to recover from a breakup with her philandering husband, is captivated by the young woman, who’s been appearing to her in dreams. Police know the family too well to suspect Kate was involved in the crime, and she’s allowed to travel within the area to stay with her cousin Simon at the Harrison’s House, a stately former family home the unerringly nice Simon inherited and that he and his partner, Jonathan, have revamped into a B&B. Interspersed with chapters about Kate’s search for the identity of the body is the story of Great Bay in 1889 and the early life of Addie Cassatt and her friend Jess Stewart. Addie’s story sounds almost like a fable, from her birth in a lake that seems to love her to her first meeting with Jess, a boy who seems fated to be always by her side. Things grow more complicated when Jess goes away to college and begins to wonder about life beyond his small town and to ask whether Addie can be the woman he needs to help him achieve his professional dreams. As Addie learns about the limits of love, Kate learns that love may return when she’s introduced to Nick, a police officer willing to invest as much time in identifying the body as Kate is. With the support of Simon and Nick, Kate tries to learn from her dreams and believe the impossible, even if it means connecting the body to a centuries-old mystery entangled with Kate and Simon’s own family history.
Simultaneously melancholy and sweet at its core.