Maggie O'Farrell's captivating and critically acclaimed gothic tale of family secrets and the irrepressible freedom that truth brings Â Chic and independent, Iris Lockhart is tending to her vintage-clothing shop in Edinburgh (and evading her married boyfriend) when she receives a stunning phone call: her great-aunt Esmeâ€”whom she never knew existedâ€”is being released from Cauldstone Hospital, where she has been locked away for more than sixty years. Irisâ€™s grandmother Kitty always claimed to be an only child. But Esmeâ€™s papers prove she is Kittyâ€™s sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her father in Esmeâ€™s face. Esme has been labeled harmlessâ€”sane enough to coexist with the rest of the worldâ€”but she's still basically a stranger, a family member hidden away who will surely bring secrets with her when she leaves the ward. Moving expertly among the voices of Iris, Kitty, and Esme herself, Maggie O'Farrell reveals the story of Esme's tragic and haunting absence.