Lucy a onze lorsqu'elle est envoyée en Égypte. Au Caire, elle découvre l'effervescence autour de la recherche du tombeau de Toutânkhamon et devient amie avec Frances, fille d'un archéologue. Insouciantes, les fillettes s'aventurent dans la Vallée des Rois, ignorant tout des sombres intrigues s'y déroulant. Au seuil de sa vie, Lucy se remémore les événements qui ont marqué cet incroyable voyage.
Under the tablecloth, Frances's hand reached for mine and clasped it. I knew what it meant, that clasp and the mischievous grateful glance that accompanied it: it meant I was thanked, that there were secrets here. I could accept that. I too had secrets - who doesn't? Sent abroad to Egypt in 1922 to recover from the typhoid that killed her mother, eleven-year-old Lucy is caught up in the intrigue and excitement that surrounds the obsessive hunt for Tutankhamun's tomb. As she struggles to comprehend an adult world in which those closest to her are often cold and unpredictable, Lucy longs for a friend she can love. When she meets Frances, the daughter of an American archaeologist, her life is transformed. As the two girls spy on the grown-ups and try to understand the truth behind their evasions, a lifelong bond is formed. Haunted by the ghosts of her past, the mistakes she made and the secrets she kept, Lucy disinters her past, trying to make sense of what happened all those years ago in Cairo and the Valley of the Kings. And for the first time in her life, she comes to terms with what happened after Egypt, when Frances needed Lucy most.
An artist is painting a portrait of thirteen-year-old Maisie and her elder sisters, beautiful Julia and bookish Finn. Maisie embarks on a portrait of her own: she begins an account of her family and of her village friend Daniel Nunn, whom she watches over the chasm of a class divide. But is her description of a summer idyll all it seems?
On the 20th anniversary of the death of Rebecca, the first wife of Maxim de Winter, family friend Colonel Julyan receives an anonymous parcel containing a notebook - marked "Rebecca's Tale" - and two pictures. Has she kept her word to haunt him for ending up in the de Winter crypt?