Since she was twelve, Meriel Garland has lived with her grandfather in London, exiled from her beloved India following the death of her mother. Now sixteen, Meriel chafes against the strict regime of tests and study that her grandfather imposes on her. Escaping, she discovers a world outside her narrow existence - one that promises admiration for her acting skills, social success and the excitement of seances. But what should have been a game turns serious as the young medium Sophie Casson passes on a message from Meriel's dead mother - and Meriel begins to suspect she might not be alone in the world after all. In searching for the truth about her past, Meriel uncovers a sinister scheme - and soon it's hard to know who she can really trust.
Meriel has always felt like someone is with her, she would think it her mother but she felt the presence before her mother was taken by death. Her only friend is the maid, who plays a major role in Meriel's story of discovery.
She meets a woman her parents knew while in town one day and is invited around to her house. The next time she goes there, there is a gathering of people. They act and talked and played games- Meriel loves to act and found it the most exciting thing to happen to her since her arrival many years ago. At her next visit to this woman house there is another gathering, some of the people she knew last time were there and she was thrilled; hoping for another night like last time. But this night was different; there was a woman and a young girl there who wasn't there last time; they are physics. They perform a little ceremony and reveal some of the peoples secret loses and how their loves ones are still with them. Meriel can't help but be interested, she missed her mother.
As much as she tries to fight it she finds herself speaking to the girl again. She gives the girl the necklace of her mothers- all she had of her- so she can get a reading of it. But she finds out something she did not expect. It's not just her lock of hair inside the locket- it's the hair of two young girls, sisters, twins.
Meriel had a twin she did not know about she wondered why she was never told, why she didn't live with them and spends days, sneaks out to discover more. She realises her grandfather has something to do with it, the tests have something to do with it. He knows, he was apart of this.
As she discovers her twin, she discovers more about the past, the terrible thing that happened that torn her twin away from her. Her father never knew, it was all her grandfathers fault, even her own mother never knew she had twins that night when she gave birth in England and Meriel's father couldn't be there.
This is a tragic story about discovery. It will leave you unable to trust the ones you are supposed to and finding hero in others; the unexpected.
This book is a classic, set in London in the olden days. It shows us what it would have been like to live back then, under rules, with maids/servants, big houses, rich and the poor; rough streets, big drama productions. It also shows what its like to lose you're mother at a young age, forced to live somewhere new, to live with a relative but in fact you don't know them at all and they don't want to know you and to discover the missing part of you, you have always felt.