Thursday, 2 February 2012

Maybe it was January torpor that got me off to a slow start with this - because it's a novel that ought to be read with the brain switched on - but heavens, I'm so glad I persevered because it got so gripping that my bedside light hasn't been switched off until 3am for the last couple of nights.
As for the slow start, well, Cornflower put it very well when she said that Jane Harris's plot is like a rope played out.
I feel as if the Victorian spinster narrator has tickled me like a trout ... and now I'm flailing in her net, and I'd happily go right back to the beginning to see how many clues I didn't pick up on.
As for the ending ... What? I'm sure I really did let out a yelp as I nearly jumped out of my bed.
The trouble is, this is a very difficult novel to review without spoiling it for anybody else.
In 1888, the summer of Glasgow's International Exhibition, Harriet Baxter, a financially-independent female, makes the aquaintance of a young artist and his family and, by making herself useful, soon becomes a fixture in their home.
That's enough. You'll have to read it for yourselves. All I'm going to say is that I should have been listening harder right from the start ...

10 comments:

Toffeeapple said...

Sounds like another one for my list, but I am doing so badly in the reading stakes recently, I seem to have lost all interest. I'm sure it will return at some point.

mary said...

I blame January, Toffeeapple.

Cait O'Connor said...

I did start this book and gave up, now I wish I had persevered, may borrow again.

Loved The Blackhouse though, just finished that one.

mary said...

I was almost giving up, Cait, because it took about 100 pages before I realised how clever it was. Do have another go.
The Blackhouse was terrific, wasn't it. I can't wait to read the new one.

Arthur Ransome said...

It was one of the best books I read last year. Glad to see it's picked up another fan.

mary said...

Hello Arthur, it's nice to see a new visitor. I'm still mulling over the book in my mind. It would be a great one for book groups.

Mystica said...

I am sorry but I found it slow going!

mary said...

It took a while to get into, Mystica, then I realised there had been more going on than I thought. I sometimes think that blogging/internet has made me far too impatient when I'm reading.

Darlene said...

You've convinced me to take a look at this one, Mary. It keeps popping up but I've read mixed things about it. Off to place a hold on the copy at my library!

mary said...

I hope you'll enjoy it, Darlene.