From the back cover:
"On the morning of Eva McEwan's birth, six magpies congregate in the apple tree outside the window -- a bad omen, according to Scottish legend. That night, Eva's mother dies, leaving her to be raised by her aunt and heartsick father in their small Scottish town. As a child, Eva is often visited by two companions -- a woman and a girl -- invisible to everyone save her. As she grows, their intentions become increasingly unclear: Do they wish to protect or harm her? A magical novel about loneliness, love, and the profound connection between mother and daughter. . . fuses the simplicity of a fairy tale with the complexity of adult passions."
Everything about this book worked for me: the characters, changing and deepening over time; the prose, spare, enchanting, and emotionally veracious; the interweaving of past and present -- and how the former creates the elements of the latter.
Check this out.