Published by Thomas Nelson on June 16, 2020
Source: the publisher
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A cursed opal, a gnarled family tree, and a sinister woman in a green dress emerge in the aftermath of World War I.
After a whirlwind romance, London teashop waitress Fleur Richards can’t wait for her new husband, Hugh, to return from the Great War. But when word of his death arrives on Armistice Day, Fleur learns he has left her a sizable family fortune. Refusing to accept the inheritance, she heads to his beloved home country of Australia in search of the relatives who deserve it more.
In spite of her reluctance, she soon finds herself the sole owner of a remote farm and a dilapidated curio shop full of long-forgotten artifacts, remarkable preserved creatures, and a mystery that began more than sixty-five years ago. With the help of Kip, a repatriated soldier dealing with the sobering aftereffects of war, Fleur finds herself unable to resist pulling on the threads of the past. What she finds is a shocking story surrounding an opal and a woman in a green dress. . . a story that, nevertheless, offers hope and healing for the future.
This romantic mystery from award-winning Australian novelist Tea Cooper will keep readers guessing until the astonishing conclusion.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When I started The Woman in the Green Dress by Tea Cooper, I had no idea what path it would take and how it would end up. The story is told in two timelines: 1853 and 1919. Both of these timelines have an element of mystery with interesting characters. It wasn’t until I was well into the story when I finally began to put details together and figure out how all of the characters’ lives would intersect. Every chapter felt like another layer was being built so the final third of the story could make big reveals. Once I started sensing the connection, things moved quickly and overall, the story was quite fascinating.
I don’t want to spoil a single thing about this story so I won’t mention any of the details, but I had no idea that the story would move in some of the directions that it did. I really enjoyed the mystery aspects of the story. Part of the intrigue for me, I think, is that I have very little knowledge of Australia’s history during the 1850’s and the early 1900’s. Most of what I know about these time periods is mostly through the lens of United States and Europe. So having the chance to read things from an Australian perspective was really great. There were several times that I stopped reading so I could go online and learn more about the places and events and customs in the story.
I particularly enjoyed reading about Della and Fleur and I think other readers will love them too.
Sidenote: I read an uncorrected digital galley and it did not include a map so I spent a great deal of time tracking the characters’ travels on online maps. I’m not sure if a map is included in the final copies of this book, but I think it would make a lovely addition to the text and I urge readers to check out the area online so you can track the characters’ travels too.