A modern day Nancy Mitford, Susannah Constantine provides a rare glimpse into the secret lives of the scandalous upper classes in her debut novel, After the Snow.
It’s Christmas 1969, and 11-year-old Esme Munroe is living with her mum, dad and older sister in the Lodge House of Culcairn Castle, a grand estate in the Scottish Highlands.
All Esme wants for Christmas is for her mother to be on one of her “good” days – and, secretly, for a velvet riding hat. So when she finds an assortment of wet towels and dirty plates in her stocking, she’s just relieved Father Christmas remembered to stop at The Lodge this year.
But later that day Esme’s mother disappears in the heavy snow. Even more mysteriously, only the Earl of Culcairn seems to know where she might have gone. Torn between protecting her mother and uncovering the secrets tumbling out of the castle’s ornate closets, Esme realizes that life will never be the same again after the snow.
An absorbing “upstairs/downstairs” tale with shades of English novelist Dodie Smith, After the Snow is perfect for fans of “Downton Abbey” and “The Crown.”