The Memory of Lost Senses
When a mysterious countess arrives late in life to live at a large, deserted house on the edge of a sleepy Hampshire village, the local tongues start wagging. The villagers are curiously fascinated by the exotic lady in their midst; dazzled by her ability with languages and her knowledge of art; riveted by her tales of expatriate life on the continent, and of whom she once knew.
But the countess is troubled: by her memories, her name, and by anonymous threats to reveal a ruinous secret. It is, she has decided, up to her close friend, a successful romantic novelist who has come to stay for the summer, to pen her memoirs and put the record straight.
No one is more intrigued than Cecily Chadwick, idling away the long, hot summer of 1911 with nothing much to do. For aspiring writer Cecily, the novelist's presence only adds to the strange pull of the house. But it is the countess's grandson, Jack, his unanswered questions about his grandmother's past and his desire to know the truth, that draw Cecily further into the tangled web of the countess's life, and the place known as Temple Hill.
An absorbing, evocative and rich period drama of buried secrets and lost love set in Italy and England.
‘Jane Austen’s observation from Mansfield Park lies at the heart of Judith Kinghorn’s exquisite new novel, a sensual and visual feast of a story, and a powerful follow-up to last year’s enthralling debut, The Last Summer... The Memory of Lost Senses is a mesmerising book, beautifully descriptive, intriguing… a page-turning, atmospheric mystery with a powerful, all-consuming love affair burning deep at its core to direct the action - and steal our hearts.’ — The Lancashire Evening Post, UK
‘Kinghorn has created a multilayered story of unbridled passion, intellectual pursuits, and uncovered memories… historical fiction readers will appreciate Kinghorn’s eye for authentic period detail.’ — Booklist, USA
‘The novel has everything – mystery, love, loss, hope… Beautifully written and the reader is swept away in the epic tale. This book had me hooked from the very first chapter.’ — Waterstones Bookseller Review, UK
‘An evocative tale about the power of memory… Kinghorn’s prose is lovely, lavishly describing both the characters and the setting, which leaves the reader with a strong sense of time and place… Fans of the Kinghorn’s remarkable debut novel, The Last Summer, will surely be pleased with this second effort. And for readers yet to discover Kinghorn’s novels, this book is sure to create a whole new legion of fans.’ — historicalnovelsociety.org
‘A lyrically written and wonderfully evocative, romantic historical novel that draws you into the intriguing and secret lives of the characters in the hot lazy summer of 1911… After her enchanting, sweeping debut we think ‘the tricky second novel’ has been delivered with aplomb.’ — Lovereading.co.uk
‘Judith Kinghorn is now very high up on my list of authors that I know I can trust to skillfully create another world on the page for me to venture to and become ensconced in, always with a compelling, beautifully written tale to tell, a gorgeous use of language, with characters I love and relationships that are certain to intrigue me. .. As with The Last Summer, this is certainly a book that I will keep on my shelves and return to.’ — The Little Reader Library
‘Judith Kinghorn is a natural storyteller. I was truly captivated from the start, and didn’t want to stop reading until I’d reached the end. I felt in the period, in that long long summer of the early twentieth century before the Great War, and then in its aftermath, still to be felt five years later. It is a story to take you away… I just loved it.’ — And Then I Read A Book
‘A beautifully written and tangled tale of love, loss and lifetime friendships. Kinghorn plays on the emotions stirred up by memories and how we each perceive the past. The lyrical prose and hints of mystery, betrayal, blackmail, jealousy and regret make for a touching, thought-provoking and compelling read.’ — Romantic Times, USA
‘Mysterious, evocative, and deeply sensual, The Memory of Lost Senses brings to life a lost era, a golden dream before it comes to an end. In its portrayal of how we change the past, and how we can lose it, the novel delves through fascinating layers and explores the real nature of truth. This moving story is not to be missed.’ — Simone St James
‘Female authors who actually have a voice are quite uncommon. This writing is very special: impressionist. When the publisher asked me if I was interested in translating a “romantic story” I thought “Oh, no, not again”. But then I started reading and I was awed by the flow of images and sensations…’ — Martine C. Desoille (French edition translator)