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A sweeping, ambitious novel about three generations of a privileged American family, and the secrets that bind them.

The Miltons are a powerful old New York family - the kind of family that used to run the world. And in 1935, they still do. Kitty and Ogden Milton seem to have it all: an elegant apartment on the Upper East Side, two beautiful little boys, a love everyone envies. When a tragedy befalls them, Ogden comforts Kitty the only way he knows how - they go sailing, picnic on a small island off the coast of Maine, and buy it.

For generations the Miltons of Crockett Island revel in a place that is entirely their own. But it's 1959, and the world is changing: Ogden's firm hire a Jewish man, Len Levy, who earns the admiration of not only his boss, but his boss's beautiful young daughter. When Len and his friend visit the island, the Milton's principles and prejudices are challenged like never before.

At the dawn of the 21st century, the family money has run dry, and the island is up for sale. Returning for one last visit, Kitty's granddaughter uncovers disturbing evidence about her family's wealth - and realizes she is on the verge of finally understanding the silences that seemed to hover just below the surface of her family all her life.

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780670920716

    May 7, 2019

    Viking

    496 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • The Guest Book
    Sarah Blake

    EBook

    9780670920693

    May 2, 2019

    Penguin eBooks

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Extract

One

The fall had turned to winter and then back again without conviction, November’s chill taken up and dropped like a woman never wearing the right coat until finally December laughed and took hold. Then the ice on the black pathways through the park fixed an unreflecting gaze upward month after month, the cold unwavering through what should have been spring, so that even in April, in the Bowery in New York City, the braziers still glowed on street corners, and a man trying to warm his hands could watch the firelight picked up and carried in the windows above his head and imagine the glow traveling all the way along the avenues, square by square above the streets, all the way uptown and into the warm apartments of those who, pausing on the threshold to turn off the light, left their rooms and descended in woolens and furs, grumbling about the cold—good god, when will it end?—until it turned without fanfare one morning in May, and spring let loose at last. All over the city, children were released from their winter coats and out into the greening arms of Central Park. So here we all are again, thought Kitty Milton, stepping into the taxicab on the way to meet her mother at the Philharmonic.

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