Coral Glynn is a young live-in visiting nurse hired to care for an elderly terminal patient near Leicester, England, in the spring of 1950. Coral doesn’t realize, when she arrives at the Hart’s manor, that she is entering a strange situation. “Everything’s gone topsy-turvy after the war,” we are told. “Blame it on Mr. Hitler.”“The blond gravel on the garden paths had turned green, each pebble wrapped in a moist transparent blanket of slime, and one could not sit on either of the two cement benches that flanked the river gate without first unhinging the snails and slugs adhered to them.”
The dying woman screams out in her sleep for morphine, craving “the sudden gorgeous prick of it in her worn flesh.” Her son, a middle-aged man named Clement Hart, who also lives in the house, seems hardhearted. He tells Coral that he no longer attends to his mother because “we were through with one another a long time ago.” In the short time Coral inhabits Hart House, her patient, Mrs. Hart, dies, and the housekeeper tells the police it is Coral’s fault. The Housekeeper has made it perfectly clear that she does not like Coral. But the son, Clement almost immediately proposes. When a young girl is hanged in the forest near the manor, Coral is also accused of that crime. As a stranger in a community where everyone has known each other for generations, she is suspect. Her past haunts her, too, when her former employer tries to frame her for theft.
Coral Glynn is a multi facetted jewel. Plan on reading it.