Summary

Longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction
Sitting in her Bloomsbury home, with her two birds for company, elderly Harriet Baxter sets out to relate the story of her acquaintance with Ned Gillespie, a talented artist who never achieved the fame he deserved. Back in 1888, after a chance encounter, young Harriet befriends the Gillespie family and soon becomes a fixture in all of their lives. But when tragedy strikes - leading to a notorious criminal trial - the certainties of this world all too rapidly disorientate into mystery and deception.
©2011 Jane Harris (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 07-04-13

lacks pace and plausibility

An over-rated book, I think. To start with, it is too long to sustain a pretty thin plot, and lacks both pace and narrative drive. The plot's plausibility gets preposterous towards the end, and the characters are not that convincing. The only thing that kept me going to the end was the outstanding narration. Anna Bentinck could recite a telephone directory and bring it to life. She certainly earned her money on this book.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By MRS on 13-02-13

Like watching paint dry

It said on the back 'literary crack cocaine.' I stopped listening after 4h 38m in which NOTHING HAD HAPPENED. It's a long book and I'm sure it must get better but, really, life's too short. There isn't even any pleasure in the mundane details of the lives of the characters, like there is with a really good writer. Just... nothing going for it. I'm returning mine.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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