The rise of a religious cult intertwines with the secret history of a family in this tale from a master of suspense at the top of her game The last time Dodie sees her mother alive, Stella is unusually busy, tattily splendid in an old red velvet dress. Soon after, Dodie's brother Seth goes missing: the only trace of him is through postcards signed ""Yours in the Lord"" addressed from the Soul Life Centre, New York state. When Stella hangs herself, Dodie must leave her baby Jake at home and cross the Atlantic to bring Seth beck from the mysterious Soul Life Centre. But when she arrives, Seth is always one day away from seeing her. She becomes drawn, not always willingly, into the Brothers and Sisters' communal living, meditation, fasting, and chanting-until baby Jake unexpectedly arrives at Soul Life and events take a shocking turn for Dodie. In a parallel narrative, Stella's sister Melanie tells the story of their teenage years in the 1970s and their shared affair with Bogart, a messianic hippy with shrewd ambition.
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July 30, 2011
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