Isak Lovenstad is a pioneering obstetrician - and a powerful, charismatic womanizer. Every summer he gathers his three daughters by different wives to the windswept Baltic island of Hammarso. Here Erika, Molly and Laura know, if only for the season, what it is to be a family, and here, in the society of other children, each undergoes the rites of growing up. Though many alliances form and dissolve, none is comparable to Erika's bond with Ragnar, a rebellious misfit whose intensity makes them inseparable. But when they turn fourteen, and their relationship threatens to relegate Erika to Ragnar's outcast state, she turns away suddenly - a common enough teenage betrayal that nonetheless precipitates an incident of such senseless cruelty as to alter forever each sister's life. Twenty-five years later, returning to Hammarso to see their father - now eighty-four and in year-round exile there - the three women confront, finally, the spectre of that awful summer whose mark each has since carried. Bold and starkly beautiful, A Blessed Child is a haunting parable of innocence lost. Praise for Grace: 'Clear-sighted, large-hearted fiction without illusions but never without pity - or without humour' Independent 'Extraordinarily fearless . . . moving and convincing . . . This is a work of the most intricate and impressive artistry'Independent on Sunday

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