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Length: 365 pages5 hours


On a still summer’s day on the island of Puerto Franco, darkness falls after eleven-year-old Leah wades into the sea and disappears. For days, her distraught mother Cristina and her little boy Sebastian watch the search boats scour the waters for the missing girl. Leah is not found. Sickened and devastated by the fishermen’s decision to call off the search, Cristina shuts herself off in her home, convinced that Leah will return. Meanwhile, freakish weather and unexpected storms lead the islanders to believe that Puerto Franco has been cursed. They blame Cristina who will not put Leah’s spirit to rest. At a complete loss of what to do, they turn their back on her and Sebastian.

Thirty years later, Mar, a visual artist, arrives on the island with her young daughter, Lemay. Her motivation is to paint in peace, away from the strains on her marriage caused by her husband’s womanising and domineering nature. She also has to come to terms with the fact that she may lose her sight in one eye due to a retinal detachment.

However, on meeting Clara, the owner of the retreat, and eventually Sebastian, Mar is soon drawn away from creative solitude into the lives of the community and its dark past. The sense she gets that the island harbours too many secrets is heightened when she is contacted by Leah’s spirit. On Leah’s spiritual lead, Mar unravels the origins of the curse on Puerto Franco through a history of tragedies, deceit, and suppressed anguish.

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