The Diviner1

The Diviner is a contemporary novel about misplaced love and how the past haunts the present. It is the story of three generations of women in a Norfolk country family, told through their relationships with each other, and through the gradual uncovering of lives kept hidden for years. Set in an isolated rural village, the novel attempts to convey the atmosphere of a place steeped in generations of love and loss. 

Violet, the grandmother of the family and the diviner of the novel's title, is dying. She knows there is a secret buried in her past that she must uncover before she dies. Her beloved grand-daughter, Sara, in her thirties and living an arid life in London, comes to stay in Violet’s beautiful old house, to nurse her and to help her prepare for death. As the story unfolds both women find themselves profoundly affected by the withholding of truth by people close to them, and the novel explores the potential for selfish decisions to reverberate down the years. 

Through a chance meeting with an archaeologist, Sara begins to visit the dig he is overseeing at a nearby farm. Violet’s memory is stirred by Sara’s reported stories of found fragments from earlier lives, and she is assailed by a series of visionary dreams which ultimately lead her to the lost knowledge she has been searching for. Sara finds old friends in the village, a new way of life and a chance for love, but at the same time her intense relationship with Violet begins to undermine her grip on reality. The shocking discovery that her mother, Maggie, has secrets of her own threatens to finally overwhelm Sara and destroy her new-found happiness.