Listen with Your Eyes
by Jennie Lea

"Neither Ashling, nor Tess, could speak for a while, but as their tears slowly ceased, and they gradually recovered from the tremors of emotion."

Growing up in Australia with only her aunt for family, Mary is an awkward, unsure girl who loves her simple country life and taking care of horses. When cancer brings a sudden end to her aunt’s life, Mary is all by herself and learns that she is inheriting a manor from her aunt in a small Irish town. Travelling to the Emerald Isle, Mary intends to get the paperwork in order and prepare to sell it to go back to what remains of her life. Instead, she finds herself drawn to the estate and the people who run it, finding true fulfillment in her life for the first time and potentially true love as well. But there is a deep mystery here, as well, with the fate of her late parents and a mysterious baby buried in a grave with Mary’s name on it called into question.

Calling to mind the kind of period storytelling of authors like Jane Austen combined with modern day sensibilities, this book is compelling in the way that it effortlessly jumps between genres based on the story’s evolution. Opening with the inner drama of Mary lost in a world where she has little direction and nobody to lean on, it then takes turns as a romance novel, a supernatural story, and a suspenseful mystery. Even the most perceptive of readers will be unable to predict this story’s closing acts as it ties together all the questions and tensions that have been building up to that point. Readers who enjoy examining the complexities of the main character or who want to be transported to the lush Irish countryside with vivid detail and love for the country and its history will enjoy following Mary on her journey of identity and discovery.

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