The Vanishing Point
By Mary Sharratt
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780618462339, 369pp.)
Publication Date: June 2006
List Price: $14.95*
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In the tradition of Philippa Gregory’s smart, transporting fiction comes this tale of dark suspense, love, and betrayal, featuring two star-crossed sisters, one lost and the other searching.
Bright and inquisitive, Hannah Powers was raised by a father who treated her as if she were his son. While her beautiful and reckless sister, May, pushes the limits of propriety in their small English town, Hannah harbors her own secret: their father has given her an education forbidden to women. But Hannah’s secret serves her well when she journeys to colonial Maryland to reunite with May, who has been married off to a distant cousin after her sexual misadventures ruined her marriage prospects in England.
As Hannah searches for May, who has disappeared, she finds herself falling in love with her brother-in-law. Alone in a wild, uncultivated land where the old rules no longer apply, Hannah is freed from the constraints of the society that judged both her and May as dangeroustoo smart, too fearless, and too hungry for life. But Hannah is also plagued by doubt, as her quest for answers to May’s fate grows ever more disturbing and tangled.
- May and Hannah lost their mother when they were very young, and in her absence their lives followed very different paths. While May often spent her time in the care of Joan, the housekeeper, Hannah was educated by her physician father, despite laws that forbade women from studying medicine. Why do you suppose the sisters were raised so differently? What prompted Dr. Powers to train his younger daughter in the sciences?