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Jane Harris was born in Belfast and brought up in Glasgow. Her short stories have appeared in a wide variety of anthologies and magazines and she has also written several award-winning short films. In 2000 she received a Writerâ€™s Award from the Arts Council of England. She lives in London with her husband Tom.
As she sits in her Bloomsbury home, with her two birds for company, elderly Harriet Baxter sets out to relate the story of her acquaintance, nearly four decades previously, with Ned Gillespie, a talented artist who never achieved the fame she maintains he deserved. Back in 1888, the young, art-loving, Harriet arrives in Glasgow at the time of the International Exhibition. After a chance encounter she 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 promise and certainties of this world all too rapidly disorientate into mystery and deception.
This is a strange and intriguing tale of the relationship between maid and mistress in 1860’s Scotland. Both have secrets to keep. I must admit to being increasingly drawn in as the story progressed and more of the mystery was revealed. This is far better than most in this area; genuinely interesting and enjoyable.Similar this month: NoneComparison: Jude Morgan, Melanie Gifford, Katharine McMahon.