For free spirit Ena Rose, the daughter of Ailsa Rose, growing up in Glen Affric has been idyllic. But womanhood looms; she faces tormenting questions of the heart -- and a love that can never be. Then there are the women whose destinies have unfolded over decades and eras; Mairi Rose, warm and wise, who binds the family together...Ailsa, who found boundless happiness in her daughter, Ena...Wan Lian, who after leaving China is driven by soul-consuming sorrow and anger at the death of her loved ones...and Genevra Townsend, who finds amongst the exotic dangers of India an inner serenity that will enable her to return at last to Glen Affric.
Richly textured and life-affirming Somewhere Lies The Moon is a mesmerizing tale filled with timeless wisdom and unforgettable heroines who live on long after the final page is turned.
|Product dimensions:||6.38(w) x 9.48(h) x 1.44(d)|
About the Author
Kathryn Lynn Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including Too Deep for Tears, All We Hold Dear, and Somewhere Lies the Moon, all available from Pocket Books. She lives with her husband in Riverside, California.
Read an Excerpt
Glen Affric, Scotland, 1879
There were night sounds beyond the ring of lantern light that caught within it streams of rushing water, divided and fused again, tumbling over huge striped boulders in the swift summer burn. In the darkness beyond the circle, the nightingale sang, a white owl hooted, a wildcat called to her missing mate. The breeze ruffled the treetops -- a promise, a threat, a faint caress -- the cool summer child of the harsh winter wind. There was no mist, yet shapes and hues and textures blurred together -- a dark background for the luminous sphere of light.
Mairi Rose Kittridge, Ailsa Rose Sinclair, Wan Lian, and Genevra Townsend reclined in the radiance on smooth flat rocks, contemplating low, stairstep waterfalls descending gently from level to level. Where the falls did not turn it to swirling foam, the water was clear golden, and lush ferns grew in hollows that followed the curve of the river.
Ailsa, Lian and Genevra had stripped down to their shifts to luxuriate in the mild summer air. But Mairi Rose was fifty-six, and though she enjoyed seeing the young women take off their clothes and release their inhibitions, she remained fully dressed, regarding them with tenderness and concern. She had contented herself with removing her brogues and raising her skirts to wade in the large pool where the waterfalls dissolved into stillness. She'd unpinned her silver-streaked red hair, loosening the braid that blended with and altered the pattern of the red plaid she wore. It did not have to keep away the chill, for it was summer and the night, for once, was warm; she wore it because the plaid was old, comfortable and poignantly familiar.
Ailsa raised her head, chestnut hair falling down her back to pool on the rock behind her, and stared up at the interlocking pattern of leaves. "Sometimes I wonder if my father dreamed it all, conjured up this night, the magic lantern that makes only this place real in all the world, and all of us here, together." She nodded toward Genevra and Lian, her newly discovered half-sisters, in amazement and affection.
Lian was twenty-five, tall and lithe, with the thick black hair and bronze skin of the Chinese, while Genevra was eighteen, small and slender, with translucent skin and fine blond hair that refused to stay bound. At thirty-eight, Ailsa had the sturdy wholesome beauty of a woman of the glen, with her sun-browned skin and scattered freckles, her strong legs and callused feet, which had carried her over this very burn many times when she was younger.
The single feature the half-sisters shared was the reflection of their father's light blue English eyes. Ailsa's were blue-violet, Lian's sky blue, Genevra's blue flecked with gray.
"I do not think Charles Kittridge has that kind of power," Lian offered, legs pulled close to her body. "To create this place and us as well." She kept her voice neutral, stifling a flash of the rage at her father that had shaped her childhood. He was a British diplomat who had traveled the Empire, leaving behind Ailsa in Scotland, Lian in China, Genevra in India. He had abandoned his daughters and their mothers, though it had not been his choice. Nevertheless, the result had been the same. He had left them helpless and far apart, from him and from each other, except for the invisible strands that bound them through their dreams. They might never have met, but he had called his three daughters to his bedside here in the Scottish Highlands, where it had all begun, where -- in the end -- he had chosen to die.
Charles Kittridge's widow, Mairi, and the half-sisters had passed through the fire of the first violent rush of grief over his death nearly two months ago. Tonight they'd become restless, in need of grace and stimulation, rather than sorrow. So here they sat in the glow of the lantern, losing themselves in the songs of the river.
Genevra, the youngest, looked up, eyes alight. "Of course our father has that kind of power." She had been drawing on her ever-present sketchpad, trying to capture, not the image, but the essence of her sisters in the mellow light of the glen. "We're here, aren't we? Still here, though he's gone, buried, no more than a ghost." She looked about, shivering. "Yet I feel he's hovering about us, watching. I know he is." Her tone held more longing than certainty. "Because we need him."
Roused from her thoughts, Mairi raised her head warily. She'd seen the copper gleam of the eyes of a wildcat darting through the shadows, pausing soundlessly to watch from the safety of tangled ferns and reeds. She was undisturbed.
She'd been aware of golden eyes upon her many times in her life and had felt an inexplicable reassurance. There were things in this glen of the Celtic gods that she could not explain, and did not try.
The moon had begun to rise from behind the mountains, outlining the jagged tips with silver, muting the light that permeated the water, made it incandescent. Ailsa felt comforted; in the midst of a storm of anger and sorrow, forgiveness and loss, she had found a moment of stillness, of peace.
"I believe ye can keep the spirits of those ye love by ye if ye choose," Mairi offered. " 'Tis no' a matter of how far they are from ye or if they can come back again, but only how much ye believe. There're spirits everywhere. In the water, in the sky, in the earth and the ever-changin' moonlight." She smiled knowingly. "These things are older than we, older than memory, older than man. They remember what we never knew -- every soul that's lingered here, leavin' his image in the water or his voice in the wind or his imprint in the soil. Here, earth, sky and water are close enough to touch, to recognize."
Lian felt dazed, as if the moonlight had enfolded her in an enchanted cloak, blocking out the past. "How do we leave our mark upon this place?" She wanted very much to do that single, simple thing.
Glancing upward, Mairi gazed at the point where the burn disappeared over the hill into the secret green woods. The water poured over an ancient stone that protruded above the linne in which she dangled her feet. "Ye leave your mark, ye make the land remember, by takin' a risk that proves your sincerity and commitment."
Craning her neck, Lian saw the rock, the clear curtain of water falling from it in small steps, bit by bit, over the wide boulders and through the slender rushing channels of the burn.
"When the moon's full, ye stand there and dive into this linne, which is deeper than ye imagine."
Lian drew in her breath and glanced at Ailsa.
"I've heard it whispered the rock is sacred, that the water remembers such risks, such courage." Ailsa pondered. "But do ye think 'tis wise for us?"
Genevra leaned forward eagerly. "It doesn't matter. What matters is adventure, magic, all the things you've taught me to believe in, though they be wise or practical, foolish or brave. Don't you see? Only we three will have dared."
Ailsa looked from Lian's unreadable face to Genevra's and back again. She turned to her mother. "Should we take the chance?"
Mairi considered solemnly, fearful for these women who had learned so much and lost so much in the last several months. Perhaps she should have kept silent. But then, she could not hold them safe beside her forever. " 'Tis your decision to make, no' mine. But I think 'twould be a fine thing to know you've conquered your fears and doubts." And, she thought, mayhap the invisible hand that holds ye fast inside your anger and grief for your father.
Lian was beside Ailsa in an instant. "If Ailsa is willing, so am I."
Despite her eagerness, Genevra was slow to rise, but as her older sisters approached, she closed her sketchbook firmly and stood, back straight and chin up.
Table of Contents