Six British women have been mysteriously invited to a special one-month holiday in a Scottish castle — all expenses paid by a mysterious benefactor. None of them know any of the other women except for Susan and her mother. They all accept, expecting one of those pampering spa experiences, but on their arrival are disappointed – nay, beyond disappointed — to find the place not a castle but instead a large manor house, half of which has been turned into a B&B, but which has been sadly neglected for quite some time. There is no staff, and they are haughtily informed by the so-called housekeeper that it is a self-catering situation. There is plenty of food in the larders, but they have to fend for themselves.
The terms of the invitation explicitly stated that there would be no contact with anyone outside the property. No TV, no internet, no phones, no nada.
The guy who picks them up at the train station and the ‘housekeeper’ announce they will stop by periodically to see if they need anything.
Every why must have a wherefore. – Old proverb.
The entire place is dirty, and the garden and grounds are untended. Not at all what the women were hoping for.
Why are they there? Why were they invited? And how does the housekeeper keep showing up mysteriously without coming in the doors, claiming she rang the bell but they didn’t hear her.
A series of accidents befall the hapless Susan, dead rats appear here and there, and it would seem that the handyman guy has developed a hankering for Susan, in spite of her disheveled mop of hair, her grotty clothes and her less than svelte figure.
They are a diverse group: the youngest, a spoiled only child of a rich widower stomps out, refusing to stay in that place. Another of the women finds herself pregnant in spite of the fact her husband definitely does not want kids. Another has an indifferent and unappreciative family and husband. Another is an ambitions, determined single mother of a young man now in University. Etc.
They decide to look around and see what is on the other side of the house, although the handyman keeps telling them the connecting doors are locked because it is deteriorated and unsafe, yet they can hear movement there. Why would there be sounds of living in a dilapidated house? What the heck is going on?
A lovely kind of chick lit story, but with a lame little cliff hanger which isn’t so much, as it is too easy to guess the outcome of that untied-up end. Definitely a stand alone, and I wish the author had included the final cliff hanger scenario. It really isn’t enough for an entire new volume. Oh, well. I’m only the reader. Snivel.