Returning to America after many years in England, Edward and Edith Mason and their two sons take up residence at The Retreat, the old family estate on the Chesapeake Bay, where the members of the family drift irrevocably toward tragedy on the eve of World War II
Unfolding with the grandeur and suspenseful inevitability of real life, Mason's Retreat tells the story of a family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland on the eve of World War II.After many years of extravagant expatriate living in England, Edward and Edith Mason and their sons, Sebastien and Simon, sail to America to take up residence at the Retreat, the crumbling Mason family estate on the Chesapeake Bay. A man of large appetite and grand illusion, Edward Mason is determined to make a go of it as a gentleman farmer, even though events always seem to conspire against him. Edith and their two sons begin to flourish in America, tasting for the first time the happiness that comes from a sense of freedom and belonging. Yet the family's drift toward destruction inexorably quickens, exposing at the heart of this remarkable novel the powerful interconnections between character, history, and fate; the isolation of class and race; and the corrosive effect of secrets within a family.