... by Kate Morton.
I have a bad habit of picking a book by the cover. I was looking for something to get for my trip to Hawaii, and the cover of this one looked interesting as I was browsing at Coles one day at lunch. It was just a pretty, country scene with a brick house and a fence, and lots of greenery. Then I read the back, and thought "I should remember this one to buy later."
The story has a few main characters at the start, and it took me a while to figure out who was who. Each chapter has the year it is being told in, but I didn't look at that from the start. The main characters are Eliza, Nell, and Cassandra. Eliza's story is the one furthest in the past. She is a child, living with her twin brother, working for a living after their parents have gone (died, I think, though I now forget). Eliza's story is one of sadness, but yet with a spirit so strong that you can't help but smile when her character is telling her stories.
Nell's story starts as a four year old who arrives on a ship to Australia alone, and doesn't know who she is or where her family is. She is adopted by a family who finds her, and actually grows up repressing her first four years. When she is an adult, her parents tell her that they are not her biological parents, and she feels misplaced and goes off on her own, away from the family she's known since she was four.
Cassandra is Nell's adult granddaughter. After Nell passes away, Cassandra needs to figure out the secrets that her grandmother had kept inside as long as Cassandra had known her. This story was really quite lovely. Three different women, all searching for the place where they belong. All in different generations. All searching for the same things, but searching alone.