Leaving Everything Most Loved (Maisie Dobbs Series #10)

( 56 )

Overview

London, 1933. Two months after Usha Pramal's body is discovered in the waters of a city canal, her brother, newly arrived in England, turns to Maisie Dobbs for help. Not only has Scotland Yard made no arrests, but evidence indicates they failed to conduct a full investigation.

Usha had been staying at an ayah's hostel, a refuge for Indian women. As Maisie learns, Usha was different from the hostel's other residents. But with this discovery ...

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Leaving Everything Most Loved (Maisie Dobbs Series #10)

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Overview

London, 1933. Two months after Usha Pramal's body is discovered in the waters of a city canal, her brother, newly arrived in England, turns to Maisie Dobbs for help. Not only has Scotland Yard made no arrests, but evidence indicates they failed to conduct a full investigation.

Usha had been staying at an ayah's hostel, a refuge for Indian women. As Maisie learns, Usha was different from the hostel's other residents. But with this discovery comes new danger, as a fellow lodger who was close to Usha is found murdered.

As Maisie is pulled deeper into an unfamiliar yet alluring subculture, her investigation becomes clouded by the unfinished business of a previous case, and by a growing desire to see more of the world. At the same time, her lover, James Compton, gives her an ultimatum she cannot ignore.

Bringing a crucial chapter in the life and times of Maisie Dobbs to a close, Leaving Everything Most Loved marks a pivo-tal moment in this remarkable series.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In the London of 1933, the apparently random drowning of a lowly Indian immigrant would certainly not automatically become a matter of top police priority. For Usha Pramal's brother, the circumstances of her death are, of course, a matter of urgent concern. When he takes his suspicions to private detective Maisie Dobbs, she begins an inquiry that suddenly escalates in importance after another Indian woman is found murdered. Leaving Everything Most Loved is not only a fascinating whodunit enhanced by realistic period atmosphere; it brings Maisie to a turning-point decision about her life. Editor's recommendation.

Publishers Weekly
Agatha-winner Winspear broadens her heroine’s horizons while offering only routine sleuthing in her solid 10th Maisie Dobbs mystery (after 2012’s Elegy for Eddie). In the summer of 1933, Maisie feels a desire to travel abroad to gain the kind of experience and understanding of other cultures that stood her late mentor, Dr. Maurice Blanche, in such good stead. Meanwhile, Detective Inspector Caldwell of Scotland Yard needs her help on a case. Two months after the discovery of the body of Usha Pramal, an Indian woman serving as governess for an English family, in a Camberwell canal, the trail of the person who shot her dead has gone cold. In her search for answers, Maisie develops a strong empathy for the murder victim, who wished to found a school for underprivileged girls. The tribulations of Maisie’s employees and her ambivalence about a marriage proposal tend to overshadow the detection. Agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. (Mar.)
Michele Leber
“The cross-cultural theme adds another dimension to Winspear’s London of 1933….This tenth Maisie Dobbs mystery continues the series’ high quality, capturing a time and place and featuring a protagonist as compassionate as she is intuitive. A fine historical mystery with broad appeal.”
Library Journal
Parting is such sweet sorrow. Winspear’s tenth Maisie Dobbs novel (after Elegy for Eddie) finds the intrepid sleuth at a crossroads. She feels a strong urge to travel abroad, but human ties have kept her stationary. Her employees are financially dependent on her, and her love, James, is anxious to know if she will become his wife. In the midst of all these decisions, Maisie is approached by a grieving brother of a murdered Indian woman named Usha. She was murdered months ago, and Scotland Yard has failed to produce any leads. Maisie takes on this sorrowful case of a woman who came to England with altruistic goals and a good position only to fall into near-indentured servitude. How did this happen? Who would want Usha dead? Just because you leave something behind doesn’t mean it won’t follow you.

Verdict Winspear adroitly weaves a mystery involving tensions with race, class, and even love. The novel will leave readers wondering if they have said a last good-bye to a dear friend. Highly recommended for fans of strong women detectives such as Bess Crawford and Mary Russell.—Susan Moritz, Silver Spring, MD

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
Between the wars, the shooting death of an Indian woman is not high on the priority list of the British police. Psychologist and private investigator Maisie Dobbs has been trying to find a missing teen, until a visit from DI Caldwell immerses her in a case that will change her life. As her wealthy upper-class lover, James Compton, whom she's steadfastly refused to marry, prepares to leave for Canada, Maisie yearns to travel to India in the footsteps of her mentor and benefactor, Maurice Blanche. So when Caldwell arrives with Mr. Pramal, an Indian who served with distinction in the British Army in World War I, Maisie is intrigued by the unsolved murder of his sister. Usha Pramal had come from India as a governess but had more recently found herself living in a hostel and taking on cleaning jobs for a living. Usha--beautiful, spirited, educated and unusually independent for an Indian woman--may have left India after falling for an Englishman whose clumsy approach to her family put him off limits. Maisie discovers that Usha had amassed far more money for her dream of starting a school for girls in India than her cleaning jobs would account for. Her income may have been derived from her talent for healing, both by medicinal mixtures and the laying on of hands. When Usha's friend Maya Patel is murdered in the same way as Usha, Maisie and her staffers, Billy and Sandra, pull out all the stops to solve the case. Not the strongest mystery in Maisie's ongoing saga (Elegy for Eddie, 2012, etc.), but one that delves deeply into her complicated relationships and hints at a compelling future.
Susan Moritz
“Parting is such sweet sorrow….Winspear adroitly weaves a mystery involving tensions with race, class, and even love….Highly recommended for fans of strong women detectives.”
Jay Strafford
“To remain connected to life’s possibilities, one’s mind must be open to change….It’s a concept that Winspear explores with grace and generosity in Leaving Everything Most Loved.”
Adam Woog
“Psychology and private investigation: an unlikely combination of professions, especially for a woman in the 1930s. And yet Maisie Dobbs does both, brilliantly.”
Booklist
“The cross-cultural theme adds another dimension to Winspear’s London of 1933….This tenth Maisie Dobbs mystery continues the series’ high quality, capturing a time and place and featuring a protagonist as compassionate as she is intuitive. A fine historical mystery with broad appeal.”
Michele Leber
“The cross-cultural theme adds another dimension to Winspear's London of 1933….This tenth Maisie Dobbs mystery continues the series' high quality, capturing a time and place and featuring a protagonist as compassionate as she is intuitive. A fine historical mystery with broad appeal.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062049605
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Series: Maisie Dobbs Series , #10
  • Pages: 339
  • Sales rank: 583,950
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Winspear

Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels featuring Maisie Dobbs, a former World War I nurse turned investigator. Originally from the United Kingdom, Winspear now lives in California.

Biography

Lovers of British mysteries and historical novels will find something to appreciate in Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs books. Maisie, a housemaid-turned-student-turned-nurse-turned private investigator in early 20th-century London, manages to straddle Britain's class system by being a woman of exceptional "bearing" and intellect who happens to come from working-class stock. As an investigator, she's green, but sharp and ambitious. She's also surrounded by vividly sketched secondary players, such as her benefactor, Lady Rowan, and mentor Maurice Blanche.

In Winspear's first Maisie story, we learn the character's background: Forced by family circumstances to go to work as a housemaid at an early age, Maisie Dobbs' curiosity and intellect are noticed by her employer, Lady Rowan. Rowan takes care of her education, and she makes it to university – but the Great War interrupts her ambitions. She serves as a nurse in France, then returns to England and starts her career as a private investigator in 1929. Her first case seems like a simple investigation into infidelity; it grows into something larger when it leads realizes there's something amiss at a convalescent home for war veterans called The Retreat.

Winspear's talent didn't go unnoticed when her first novel was published in July 2003. Maisie Dobbs was named in "best" lists in both the New York Times and Publishers Weekly. It was also nominated in the best novel category for an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. There was an almost palpable sense of relief in the reviews, pleasant surprise that someone had offered not only a solid addition to the historical mystery genre, but had given it further depth and breadth. As an NPR reviewer put it, "[The book's] intelligent eccentricity offers relief."

Telling Maisie's stories using a warm third-person narrator, Winspear charms with her ability to convey the historical context surrounding her characters, particularly regarding the impact of the Great War. For this reason, and because her mysteries steer clear of graphic violence or sex, her books are often recommended for younger readers also. Far from hardboiled, Winspear's characters are very human, and she delivers a little romance and heartache along with the criminal wrongdoing.

Part of the appeal in Winspear's books also lies in her ability to bring a deeper, more philosophical atmosphere to the proceedings. Maisie is trained in Freudian psychology and is as interested in helping as she is in solving. A case referenced in the second Maisie story, Birds of a Feather, for example, "would not be filed away until those whose lives were touched by her investigation had reached a certain peace with her findings, with themselves, and with one another." Reading Winspear's Dobbs series may not bring inner peace, but there is something relaxing about spending time with her appealing characters.

Good To Know

Winspear also works as a creative coach. She writes on her web site, "As a coach I am engaged by those who want to establish clear intentions for their artistic endeavors, to support and encourage so that they sustain a level of energy and empowerment which is demonstrated in work that is rewarding, inspiring -- and finished!" Winspear also writes about international education.

Winspear loves outdoor pursuits such as horseback riding, hiking, sailing, and mountain biking; she's also an avid traveler, according to her web site bio.

In our interview, Winspear shared some fun facts about herself:

"My first ever job after college was as a flight attendant. I wanted to travel and could not afford it, so I decided to get myself a job where I could travel. I did it for two years and had great fun."

"My worst-ever job was in an egg-packing factory when I was 16."

"I love dogs, horses and generally all animals. I will always stop to check on stray dogs -- I once ended up in the emergency room with a tick embedded in me which had jumped off a dog I had rescued from a busy road. It was a deer tick, which carries Lyme Disease, so I wasn't taking any chances. Funnily enough, when I opened the only magazine in the emergency room, it was to a page carrying an article on tick bites and disease. It stated that you have six hours after the tick embeds itself, before it begins to release the bacteria that cause disease. I counted the hours from rescuing the dog, and by the time the doctor came in I was pleading, ‘Get this thing out of me!!!'"

"My favorite way to unwind is to go for a walk with my husband and the dog at the end of the working day, then we go to our local health club for a swim and to sit by the pool and read for a while. I love time with family and friends, but completely relish time on my own when I have no agenda to follow, no to-do's, just me and time alone."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jackie Winspear
    2. Hometown:
      Ojai, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 30, 1955
    2. Place of Birth:
      Weald of Kent, England
    1. Education:
      The University of London’s Institute of Education
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

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(34)

4 Star

(13)

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(3)

2 Star

(3)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I picked up the first book in the Maisie Dobbs series by chance

    I picked up the first book in the Maisie Dobbs series by chance back in 2003 - and I was promptly hooked. Jacqueline Winspear has just released the tenth book in this wonderful series - Leaving Everything Most Loved.

    Maisie is a psychologist and private investigator in 1930's England. Quite unusual for her time, but even more unusual is the path that has taken her to her current place in life. She started out as a maid in the great house where her father worked as a groom. But her curiosity for learning caught the eye of her employer and others and they have helped pursue and achieve her many goals. She also served as a nurse in the Great War. Her natural curiosity and quiet intelligence have served her greatly - her investigative agency is quite successful.

    Her latest case is disturbing. An East Indian woman has been shot down in the streets of London. Her brother is looking for answers that Scotland Yard seems unable to find and hires Maisie.

    "That morning, as Usha Pramal had painted a vermilion bindi to signify the wisdom nestled behind the sacred third eye, she could not have know that she had given her killer a perfect target." Maisie takes on the case, with the blessing of Inspector Caldwell of the Yard.

    "Because you're a terrier, Miss Dobbs. You might not be quick and you might not go about it like I would, but you never let go. Now then, you go and get your teeth into his story. See where that leads you."

    What a treat it is to follow Maisie as she slowly and patiently investigates, piecing together the whodunit using interviews, intuition, deduction and legwork until the pieces fall into place.

    The mysteries in Winspear's books are intriguing, involving the social fabric and mores of the time period she has chosen. Her books are a wonderful social commentary as well.

    I have enjoyed the character of Maisie from the very first book. She is patient and kind, but intuitive and not easily taken advantage of. But while, I enjoy Maisie's sleuthing, I am just as interested in her personal life. Leaving Everything Most Loved as a title applies to many of the characters in the book. Maisie herself, despite having a man she loves in her life, family and friends and personal success, still finds there is something missing in her life. And so, she has decided to make a radical change. I won't spoil it for you - but wherever Winspear chooses to take Maisie from here - I'll be following.

    An excellent historical mystery series and definitely recommended. (Best read with a pot of tea and a cosy chair)

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    One would think that Maisie Dobbs, at this point, had it made:

    One would think that Maisie Dobbs, at this point, had it made: She has inherited a substantial estate and fortune from her mentor, Dr. Maurice Blanche; she has a loving father; wonderful friends; a successful business; loyal employees, and a handsome, wealthy suitor who very much wants to marry her. And yet, she feels at loose ends, reflecting she is unfulfilled and wanting to follow in Blanche’s footsteps, traveling, perhaps to India and learn more about the world.

    But before she can decide, she has to solve the murder of an Indian woman who has traveled to England and worked as a governess for a family, before leaving its employ and living in a home for similar immigrants who had lost their jobs, resorting to menial work as cleaning women and the like. Since this is a Maisie Dobbs mystery, there are overlapping plots and themes which must be tied together before we move on to the next chapter in Maisie’s life.

    In each of the ten novels in the series, we have witnessed the development of Maisie’s experiences and character growth, as well as world developments as the 1930’s unfold toward what is likely to be World War II. But this entry takes place in 1933, so there is plenty of time for several more Maisie Dobbs stories. And that is something worth waiting for.

    Recommended.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    Slow, slow, slowest....

    Somebody pass me some toothpicks to prop my eylids open with, would you, please?
    This tenth book in the series is even more convoluted, heavy-handed, and slow-going than all of its predecessors put together. Maisie is in search of the murderers of two Indian women and, just when they seem to have the perpetrator all sewn up, poof! It's not him, but we miss crucial information that led to this conclusion. And, of course, there is a lot more interminable hemming and hawing about the state of James and Maisie's relationship. And Maisie's existential angst to "find herself" which, frankly, is becoming more than a little annoying. Suck it up, cupcake!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Interesting exploration of British racism

    Very good work adding people of other cultures to this series. Much enjoyed that aspect. The decision to need the main character want leave the country alone seemed somewhat cliched, though nice feminist touch. However, readers don't like to see her alone and want her proposed marriage to be interesting and complex by keeping her in her field and making it work, though perhaps that would add depth the genre does not allow. This is a wonderful series, but as it leaves the WWI experiences, it seems less powerful.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    Just finished the latest in the Massie Dobbs series and loved it

    Just finished the latest in the Massie Dobbs series and loved it. I really think this is Ms. Winspear's best to date. I began reading the Massie Dobbs series by chance awhile back and was hooked. The book really captured all the characters and their interactions with Massie Dobbs. She had great closure at the end of the book with the characters. I hope Ms. Winspear continues with more of Massie Dobbs. Please Ms. Winspear, let Massie and James get married. Don't let them separate or find other loves. Massie needs romance and love and James is the one for her.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2013

    Lets get real $16 for a e-book  that you don't actually own. But

    Lets get real $16 for a e-book  that you don't actually own.
    But a licence to read it. I don't care if you are JRR Tolken. 
    This i just greed who's i don't know bt greed.....

    2 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I've been a Maisie Dobbs fan from the beginning and shared with

    I've been a Maisie Dobbs fan from the beginning and shared with many friends. I've been a little disappointed with the past 2 books, though. The stories are stuck in a phase of Maisie trying to decide the direction of her life and not much focus on the mystery solving part. I wish she would devote one book to the life change and not weave it into the other stories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2013

    The title of this latest book pretty much says it all...and I a

    The title of this latest book pretty much says it all...and I
    am not sure what to think. Like multiple other series I have read regularly, this one started out terrifically with the first four books--but after that just lost steam with stories which seemed to go nowhere, major plotlines left dangling, characters that seemed to stagnate. I have found every book past number four has run into the next, almost interchangeable. I think the plot for this latest offering is more of the same BUT the title pretty much 'tells it like it is.' Maisie is at a turning point and her decisions concerning her life almost make the rest of the plot take a back seat. While the murder mystery surrounding two Indian women has its moments of interest, the point of the text seems to be MUCH more of Maisie's endless soul-searching (as with later books WAY too much of it that leads to skimming). More pointedly, however, is where this novel leaves Maisie, the other characters and us, as readers. The promotional blurbs and the jacket keep talking about the 'pivotal' nature of the book...which I find the most intriguing and the most frustrating. I, like many readers will be, am totally puzzled as to what this ending means for the series--is it going to end? If so, this novel ends in such a way, one could read it as a 'wrap up.' Not a totally satisfying one, but possible. On the other hand, this could be the start of a long break for Winspear; if so, what will 'Maisie Dobbs' be when/if she comes back? It is hard to tell. I don't know how to feel about it. What I would have enjoyed more here is more time with Frankie--her dad seems to have gotten short shrift in later books--and Lord the less I see of James Compton the better. A boring character almost to the point of stereotype: the 'stiff upper lip,' dullard who spouts 'cheerio' and 'hallo darling' in a passionless affair. IF this is the last book for a while or IF it is the start of a new kind of Maisie Dobbs story, I hope Winspear takes her to new locales and some real passion--without forgetting Frankie and Priscilla, characters I love. If not, oh well...the series has dwindled for me so that I am rather ambivalent, which makes me sad.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    This story was just as engaging as its predecessors and was worth the wait for it to come out in paperback. The storyline makes me believe Jacqueline Winspear will continue to write more for this series. Highly recommended if you enjoyed #1-#9!

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  • Posted August 29, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly recommended

    As usual, Winspear weaves a clever plot with several twists and turns. Her characters and their lives are compelling as the story unfolds. The familiar regulars (Billy, Pris, Maurice) and the locations in and out of London provide the reader with a comfortable background against which the story line develops. Maisie Dobbs continues to be interesting as more of her own background comes into the reader's view. This series continues to intrigue me, and I highly recommend the books to a general reading audience.

    Karin43

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  • Posted June 20, 2014

    Maisie Dobbs series

    Very good series...looking forward the the 11th book! No trash, just good engaging stories with continuity.

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  • Posted April 23, 2014

    To start, I've never read a Maisie Dobb's novel before and it is

    To start, I've never read a Maisie Dobb's novel before and it is my understanding that this is the tenth book in the series. Though previous events weren't difficult to catch up to, at least those that were pertinent to the current storyline remained.

    What drew me to the book was the historical factor. It's a female private detective in England during the 1930's. She is clever and independent, especially for that era. Despite this great list attributes she fell just a wee flat as a complex character for most of the book. My thoughts on this is that there was ten books before this so the author had plenty of time for character development for Maisie. That being said, all the surrounding characters were very well done and lifelike.

    Loaded with intrigue, "Leaving Everything Most Loved" is a great mystery and if you follow the series, I think it's a major transition novel for Maisie Dobbs. I'm thinking her adventures are only going to get bigger.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    PRICE?

    I take it that this 10.99 must be an error.I'll just wait and see if this changes.Careful nook people!

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    Great detective series

    This book is true to its predecessors. Winspear has developed a classic detective in Maisie Dobbs, along with a host of other characters who are interesting in their own right. I hope this is not the final in the Maisie Dobbs series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    Ghost

    "Y is i here?"

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014

    Kyle

    Em ur seein s.h.i.t. i been drinkin babe sry babe im kyle u know dat

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014

    Emilee

    You put tanner as ur name ill brb stay on i gtg eat

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2013

    Still hooked on Maisie - definitely recommend!

    This is the 10th volume in the Maisie Dobbs series and I am still completely hooked!
    All the usual high quality items are present: clear and thoughtful writing, solid characters, and fascinating notes of aspects of life in London in the 1930's. In this novel we glimpse into the difficult lives of young women from India and the challenges they encounter in London when their first jobs come to an end.
    This novel also sets us up for a transition to come in Maisie's life - travel wise - and leaves us awaiting Winspear's next novel with great expectation!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    Spashtail

    She shook her fur, making water fly everywhere. "Be more careful next time!"

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2013

    &forest

    &hearts

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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