Author(s): Paddy Richardson
In a small New Zealand town, four women find their lives linked by a secret that could bring about their undoing...or set them free. Serena Freeman, a once-promising high school student, has started to retreat from life and one night does not return home. Her sister, Lynnie Freeman, is carving out a successful career and is desperate to distance herself from her troubled past. But on hearing of Serena's disappearance, Lynnie returns to the town of Alexandra to look for her. The only link to Serena's disappearance is Ilse Klein, a quiet English teacher who longs for her lost childhood in Germany. She lives with her mother, Gerda Klein, beset by a devastating depression each winter and plagued by memories of Stasi Germany. The Kleins learned long ago that there is safety in silence, can they break a lifelong habit?
Paddy Richardson is the author of six novels and two short story collections. Her fiction has been a finalist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel and short-listed for the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Awards. She has been the recipient of the University of Otago Burns Fellowship, the Beatson Fellowship, and the James Wallace Arts Trust Residency Award. Four of her novels have been translated and published in Germany. Paddy has lectured and tutored English Literature at university level and taught many creative writing courses. She lives on the Otago Peninsula in New Zealand.