This book was in the pile from the charity shop and I picked it out because I was struggling with 'On Beauty' and wanted something a bit more light weight. It is the lovely intriguing story of Evangeline, who loses her mother very abruptly and very young and goes to live with her grandparents in rural Wales. It is told by her pregnant adult self reflecting on the immediate aftermath of her mother's death and then the disappearance of a local girl, and her childhood obsession with finding out about her mother's teenage years and the mysterious K, who may have been her father.
The abduction of Rosie raises tension in the community but this remains mostly on the periphery of Evie's concerns. She befriends a local man Billy who, having been injured by a horse as a teenager, has been living on the edge of village society, and through him learns much of her mother's history. Mainly the story is about her relationship with her grandparents, and also Daniel, the young farm worker who becomes a reliable constant in her life.
The book is also about Wales, and farming, and attachment to the land and to a particular place. Her crusade to discover her own heritage is like an urgent need to establish a sense of belonging. She talks very little about how she felt at the loss of her mother, much more about how she formed new bonds. Then as a teenager Evie tries going away to University but finds that she cannot bear to be away from the farm, or from Daniel, and she seems to accept that they will inevitably be the ongoing centre of her life.
Beautifully written and very atmospheric, though I'm not sure it would tempt many people to the wet and windswept hillsides of Wales, but you have a wonderful picture of a warm, close knit community, that is broken but then seems to be able to heal itself, and you just long to belong.