SHADOW OF THE SON


Percy returns to Rhinebeck
In this deftly crafted sequel to the award-winning novel Eye of the Moon, Percy is called back to Rhinebeck, hosting an unexpected weekend house party to save the estate from sudden peril.

Lord Bromley descends upon Rhinebeck with a diabolical plot
He has left indelible scars on the lives of guests and staff alike. With his fatal charm and intricate machinations, he launches a series of high-stakes wagers, engaging Percy in a game of wits. Secrets behind secrets are revealed.

Alice returns in unexpected ways
Are the dead ever really dead? When vows are shattered, what is the true cost?

Shadow of the Son is a haunting and majestic tale of broken promises, old scores settled, second chances, and extraordinary love.

Goodreads page



Summer 2021

CHARACTERS

  • Alice

    John Sr.’s half-sister. Formerly married to Lord Bromley, whom she divorced. She later married and divorced Arthur Blaine. Alice died under mysterious circumstances when Johnny and Percy were ten. She had no children.
  • Anne Dodge

    Mother to Johnny Dodge and married to John Sr.
  • Arthur Blaine

    Mining magnate and Alice’s second husband, whom she divorced.
  • Bonnie Leland

    John Sr.’s half-sister and Maw’s daughter.
  • Bruni von Hofmanstal

    Daughter of Elsa and Hugo von Hofmanstal. Works for her father as an attorney.
  • Cobb

    Dr. Angus Maxwell-Hughes. Lord Bromley’s doctor.
  • Dagmar

    The cook at Rhinebeck. Married to Stanley.
  • Elsa von Hofmanstal (baroness)

    Wife of Hugo and mother of Bruni.
  • Hugo von Hofmanstal (the baron)

    Longtime friend of Lord Bromley and John Sr. He was briefly engaged to Mary, Percy’s mother, before marrying Elsa. She and Hugo have two children, a daughter, Brunhilde von Hofmanstal and a younger son, who lives in Europe.
  • Jane

    Kitchen staff member, who works with Dagmar.
  • John Sr. (John Dodge):

    Married to Anne Dodge and father of Johnny. He owns Dodge Capital, an early Hedge Fund.
  • Johnny Dodge

    Grew up with Percy, son of Anne and John Sr.
  • Lord Bromley

    Former husband of Alice.
  • Malcolm Ault

    Longtime friend of Alice, Lord Bromley, and the Dodge family.
  • Mary

    Percy’s mother and close friend of Anne Dodge. She lives in Florence, Italy with her husband, Thomas.
  • Maw (Mary Leland)

    Matriarch of the Dodge family. She married John B. Dodge, later divorced, and had John Sr. Her last marriage was to a southern banker who died. She is the mother of Bonnie Leland. Known to the family as Maw and The Crone in the corporate world, she has the economic resources of a small country.
  • Percy

    The narrator of the novel. He grew up with Johnny in the Dodge household
  • Raymond

    John Sr.’s personal chauffeur.
  • Robert the Bruce

    English bull terrier formerly owned by Johnny Dodge and now owned by Maw.
  • Simon

    Household staff member who works with Stanley.
  • Stanley

    The Head Butler of Rhinebeck. Married to Dagmar, the cook.



INDUSTRY REVIEWS

  • María Cristina Restrepo
    "Shadow of the Son" is the novel that the readers of "Eye of the Moon" have been impatiently waiting for.

    The plot unfolds at the same palatial estate on the banks of the Hudson River, a bucolic setting crisscrossed with mysterious undertones that can be at times benevolent or threatening.

    The story resolves some of the pending issues from "Eye of the Moon", while new ones are introduced. The Rhinebeck estate is shown to be once again a microcosm where anything is possible: the love story between Percy and Bruni that could result in not only marriage but a business partnership; the roles of Stanley, the butler, and Dagmar, the cook, which influence the destinies of the guests; the protagonists confronting their pasts, the convenience of hiding rather than revealing. Surprises follow one after another, making it difficult for the reader to put down the book.

    By the start of the second novel, you are familiar with the characters and have likely taken sides. But your opinions may change when new characters arrive, adding complexity to the situation. Some doubts will be resolved, while others will be raised. The doors will open to reveal new secrets, all of which make this book, like the previous one, a true thriller.

    This is a novel that wholly fulfills its mission: the telling of a story in the best possible way. Written with mastery characterized by his elegant prose and a fine, penetrating humor that is at times sharp, yet always intelligent, Ivan Obolensky develops a brilliant narrative with a sure hand that does not let up for a moment.

    "Shadow of the Son", with its mixture of mystery, romance, intrigue, secret family stories, and those small and large power struggles that are revealed, will light up the days and nights of its readers making it, without a doubt, one of their best reads of the year.

    María Cristina Restrepo
    Novelist and Literary Translator
  • Tom Hyman
    "Shadow of the Son" is the sequel to Ivan Obolensky’s award-winning debut novel, "Eye of the Moon". It picks up where that novel ended.

    The cast of characters is much the same as before: Percy’s close friend and erstwhile business partner, Johnny; Johnny’s parents, John Sr. and Anne Dodge; John’s mother, Mrs. Leland; her daughter, Bonnie; Stanley, the family butler; his wife, Dagmar, the cook; Malcolm Ault; the Baron von Hofmanstal, his wife Elsa, and their daughter, Bruni.

    Also making his way to the estate for the weekend is a villain of formidable stature—Lord Bromley.  Bromley, once Alice’s husband and tormentor, is on his way to Rhinebeck to demand possession of some treasures of Alice’s that he claims belong to him. Percy must negotiate some kind of arrangement with this devious and dangerous individual in order to save the estate. Almost everyone present at the weekend gathering has strong personal reasons to fear and hate the man, including Percy himself.
    And Stanley, the butler, has reason to want him dead.

    Several days of hushed conversations, secret plotting, accusations, and acrimonious confrontations, build up to unbearable levels of tension and suspense that explode abruptly in a shattering climax the night of the elaborate formal dinner at the end of the week.

    Obolensky has created a compelling and exceedingly well-crafted drama, full of marvelous detail about the upper-class lifestyle of the 1970s, an ambiance quite familiar to Obolensky. His grandfather was Serge Obolensky, World War II hero and member of Wild Bill Donovan’s OSS, who married into the Astor family.

    Sequels can be difficult to pull off, but Obolensky manages to do it here, and with style. "Shadow of the Son" can certainly be read as a stand-alone novel, but the reader will enjoy it even more by reading "Eye of the Moon" first.
    Tom Hyman
    Author of "Seven Days to Petrograd"
  • Marta Botero
    Reading Ivan Obolensky's new book, "Shadow of the Son", relives the magic of Rhinebeck's environment as the characters from “Eye of the Moon” reunite. I had become familiar and close to them after the end of the previous novel.

    "Shadow of the Son" succeeds in the narrative tension of the story from “Eye of the Moon”, marked by new interrelationships between the guests, in another weekend full of mystery and charm, where the reader experiences being one more guest in a privileged position—
    that of observer in the foreground.

    It is a novel that ensnares from the first chapters by the technique of pacing, suspense, and by the development of events,
    in ways never intuited.

    The author, through direct and poignant dialogues between the characters, allows us to become eyewitnesses and not just readers in this encounter, where hidden truths are made evident with a dynamic that gives a powerful undercurrent to the story.

    The author unfolds fragments of the characters' lives with literary skill and links facets of the past and present that clarify with fascinating rhythm, throughout the chapters, the relationships between their lives.

    Ivan Obolensky possesses the narrative magic of great novelists, due to his ability to put together scenes, create dramatic situations, and slide characters into unexpected events. The succession of events prevents us from putting the book down. Obolensky achieves everything with a crafted literary language, a profound introspection of the characters, and the unbeatable staging of the setting, where the details are carefully assembled in this intricate storyline.

    Once again, we find ourselves in a mansion where anything can happen, in a refined environment that enriches sensory literary experiences. Obolensky invokes an experience that the reader, beyond just following the plot, lives the events as an exceptional witness.
    Marta Botero
    Journalist


REVIEWS FROM OUR ADVANCED READERS

  • Mary Ann Dorman
    I didn’t just like the book, I loved it! It is a page turner with interesting, clever characters and a story line that draws you in like a rare earth magnet. Ivan’s imagery, humor and fleshing out of characters make them come alive in my mind. I loved the twists and turns of the plot lines. It is a fabulous read and left me wanting to know more.
    Mary Ann Dorman
    Business Owner
  • Andrea Giardino
    "Shadow of the Son" by Ivan Obolensky is a dynamic, intelligent, and beautiful novel that involves so many subjects, from Ancient Greece to gastrophysics, which I particularly love. Just like with "Eye of the Moon", there are elements such as the menu that are right on point with the times. Ivan manages to be precise and fluid in an enjoyable way, setting the tone perfectly for the sequel as the story picks up and the reader knows exactly where things are. It’s as if all I lived and read during these years since "Eye of the Moon" had not passed and he had me immediately back.

    Since reading “Eye of the Moon” I have been looking forward to seeing more of Ivan’s writing. These stories could have adaptations and have further legs—it is very clear that this world has an appeal that goes in very different directions, with the historic aspects of the location, the culture, the manners—those wonderful western manners, and more.

    "Shadow of the Son" has a lot of visual power for other mediums. I imagine it will make a perfect Netflix series. I hope the author is super busy writing! We want more!
    Andrea Giardino
    One-of-a-kind event planner/ food consultant
  • Silvia Lloréns
    When reading "Shadow of the Son" I found that I felt present in each scene. The characters are so well described that my imagination led me to see their gestures, to feel their emotions, and to delve so deeply into the narrative, that at night I had to make a huge effort to leave such a beautifully written novel next to my bed.

    When I was sure that I knew what was going to happen as a result of the rapid exchanges flowing with each scene, more than once I was surprised with how the author handled the twists of circumstances. And what I had expected turned out to be solved in a totally different way.

    Percy, the main character, deftly manages the rapid changes that rush at him. Alice, the person who was not alive in either novel, has a force and life that only a writer like Ivan Obolensky can present.

    As a reader, you could list each of the other participants and, it is true, describe them as if you know them: a skill that not many writers possess.

    If you want to enjoy a book at a fast pace, with unexpected changes, with unimaginable results, this is your opportunity to do so. Do not let it pass. It’s not every day that books are written where you experience extraordinary events as if you were there.

    And on this occasion, the author Ivan Obolensky, succeeded.
    Silvia Lloréns
    Bilingual Translator
  • Kathy Braceland
    Ivan Obolensky’s novel “Shadow of the Son” should come with a warning label to let the reader know to not make any other plans once they open the book.  I found it completely engaging and didn’t want to put it down—so, I didn’t.  It absorbed me and I was delighted with my adventure page after page.

    I felt like I was in some secret club by being privy to the private conversations between the characters.  My favorite of those were with Johnny and Percy who have such an unbreakable bond between them, they could easily conquer the world together.  I thoroughly enjoyed how they would discuss seemingly impossible situations and use their combined wits and resources to figure them out, or how they would make plans and intelligently carry them through as a trusted, dedicated team.

    There is a lot of action in this story that occurs in a truly short period of time.  Many things are going on at once, with nonstop interaction of the characters and lots of moving parts.  Every action or counter action is dealt with adeptly and finalized.  The characters are extremely vivid, and everyone’s personal story or secret is revealed.

    “Shadow of the Son” can certainly stand on its own as a great story, but I’m very happy that I read Ivan’s first novel, “Eye of the Moon” beforehand as I was already familiar with the characters, so it made it even more entertaining.  I’m looking forward to Mr. Obolensky’s next novel!
    Kathy Braceland
    Award-winning artist
  • Margo Ternstrom
    As with "Eye of the Moon", "Shadow of the Son" transported me into a lifestyle of wealth and luxury, right down to the delectable meals. Its rich description of surroundings and elaborate tensions between characters created a perfect setting for intrigue and kept me hooked.
    Margo Ternstrom
    Interior Design and Architectural Illustrator
  • Art Watanabe
    A perfect sequel to "Eye of the Moon"!

    I enjoyed this book much more than "Eye of the Moon", which I also thoroughly enjoyed! I found it difficult to put the sequel down, reading a handful of chapters whenever a quiet moment presented itself. It pairs well with a good cup of coffee.

    The book flowed so well, and all the separate stories within were so easy to visualize--a testament to just good writing.

    "Like Cristal... well beyond the ordinary." A worthy successor to "Eye of the Moon"--a must-add to your library!
    Art Watanabe
    Retired Graphic Artist
  • Dr. Patricia Alireza
    Once again, Ivan Obolensky has managed to grab his audience in the continuing story of "Eye of the Moon", woven around the characters reunited at Rhinebeck.

    In this sequel, "Shadow of the Son", surrounded by the magical culinary gifts of the wonderful Dagmar and the wisdom of Stanley, we explore loyalties, friendship and family ties that test the depths of character of our protagonists. Wonderfully written, it touches on different aspects of human nature in an intuitive manner one can immediately relate to. Very enjoyable.

    Dr. Patricia Alireza
    Experimental Physicist
  • Richard Hopper
    "Shadow of the Son", which I loved, is a great complement and sequel to "Eye of the Moon", Ivan Obolensky’s debut novel. It has most of the same characters, shares the Rhinebeck on the Hudson setting, and resolves some of the key questions that dangled over the reader after reading "Eye of the Moon".

    Key augmentations came in "Shadow of the Son" from filling in many personal histories and raising the profile of that inimitable couple Stanley, the butler, and Dagmar, the cook. In the sequel, each took on dimensions only hinted at in the first, and they became more a part of the cast of key players than the local color they were sometimes relegated to in "Eye of the Moon". Also, we finally got to meet our hero Percy’s father, a tantalizingly complex, and generally unlikable person, who seemed at times to hold forth the promise of suddenly revealing himself to be redeemable. I will leave it to the reader to determine whether this actually happened.

    The other key figures, Johnny and his parents, Brunhilde and her parents, and Bonnie and Maw, are congruent with their personae in "Eye of the Moon", although if I had been Percy, I might have preferred Bonnie to Brunhilde as a life’s partner, but then, there’s no accounting for tastes. Cobb is a new character who is both a key player in the plot and somewhat a surprise, from beginning to end and from worse to better.

    I admit to a weakness for Ivan’s prose, which I might just as well call envy. His prose flows as effortlessly as the brushstrokes of a great artist, no doubt product of a lifestyle that appears as enormously attractive as it is undoubtedly difficult to live. To wax hyperbolic, I am quite confident the Prince of Kiev, his thousand-year ancestor, while perhaps more powerful, could not have held a candle to Ivan as a writer. Or if he could, I would also envy Ivan’s ancestry. But wherever it comes from, it will have me reading anything he goes on to write.

    Richard Hopper
    Business Consultant


QUOTES FROM THE NOVEL


DAGMAR'S KITCHEN


“I express the oldest language in the world. With it, I create, sustain, or end life.” - Dagmar


Menus

Dinner
Scotch broth
Savory beef stew
Small balls of raspberry sorbet

Dinner
First course: Lobster bisque with a hint of sherry
Main course: Sole with lemon, parsley, and an almond crust
Creamy mashed potatoes and broccoli with hollandaise sauce, paired with Clos Blanc de Vougeot
Dessert: Soft homemade vanilla ice cream with Dagmar's signature pound cake

Lunch
Pea soup accompanied by small triangular peanut-butter and jelly sandwich quarters, paired with a German Riesling
Silver bowls with crushed ice, with white porcelain shells containing crab salad
Pale-yellow Meyer lemon sherbet

Dinner
Sushi with Cristal
Chilled cucumber and watermelon soup, paired with an unusual greenish-gold Chardonnay
Grilled sea bass with tiny asparagus drizzled with hollandaise
Lamb
Dessert: Sweet biscuits and an "old Nordic recipe" drink by Dagmar

Lunch
Cold vichyssoise served in small porcelain cups surrounded by beds of ice in larger silver bowls
Cold Maine lobster served with sides of Russian salad, and chilled asparagus with lemon
Dessert: Individual servings of homemade vanilla ice cream with swirls of orange sherbet, served on a lake of warm chocolate,
with thin butter cookies on the side

Dinner
First course: Scottish smoked salmon paired with a white Haut-Brion
Second course: Jellied consommé with a dab of crème frâiche served in small, white bowls on ice
Grilled salmon with a dollop of Mousseline sauce, crunchy on the outside with a delicious delicate middle
Filet mignon, paired with Château Lafite
Glazed roast duckling slices with applesauce, accompanied by small amounts of mashed potatoes and creamed carrots, paired with Chardonnay
Dessert: Small balls of pale lime sorbet


Recipes


Apothecary