In 1901, the Aurora sinks off of the coast of Lighthouse Bay, Australia. The ship carries a small crew, and a jeweler and his wife, Isabella, who are in charge of delivering an ornate jeweled mace to the Australian Parliament. Isabella is trapped in a loveless marriage and is still grieving over the death of her infant son. When the ship goes down, she is able to swim from the wreckage, with the mace, and finds herself the only survivor. Seizing the opportunity, she leaves her old life behind and creates a new identity. Walking away from her unsympathetic husband and cruel extended family is easy, but she still struggles with the loss of her child.
Over one hundred years later, Libby Slater finds herself in a similar situation. Her lover passes away and leaves her a cottage on Lighthouse Bay. Unfortunately, Lighthouse Bay isn’t exactly a new start for Libby, it is her hometown. Returning means confronting the horrible events that caused her to leave in the first place. She also must face her sister, Juliet, who is unable to forgive her for her role in a tragic accident. As Libby tries to sort out her past she becomes drawn into the mystery of the Aurora. What happened to its passengers and its priceless treasure?
Freeman easily interweaves the story of the two women and their quest to find peace and new beginnings. The description of the Australian beach is warm and inviting, and the mystery within the story adds an exciting element. A fast-paced, perfect summer read. Highly recommended.