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Lesley McDowell was an academic in the Department of English at the University of St Andrews from 1995â€“97. Since then, she has worked as a freelance critic, writing for The Times Literary Supplement, The Independent on Sunday, The Sunday Herald and The Scotsman.
An exciting debut from this author. A family drama unfolds across three generations and spanning two continents. Moving and sometimes unsettling but a fantastic insight in to the mother-daughter bond, this will keep you gripped from beginning to end.
Monstrously good. - Louise Welsh. London, 1823. Mary Shelley's real-life friend Isabella Baxter Booth is 'disturbed in her reason' - seeing ghosts and dependent on narcotics to escape a hellish life with an increasingly violent, deranged husband. Fearful of her own murderous impulses towards him, Isabella flees for her childhood home in Scotland, where she meets an ambitious young doctor, Alexander Balfour. He will stop at nothing to establish a reputation as a genius in the emerging science of psychiatry and he believes that Isabella could be the key to his greatness. But as his own torments threaten to overwhelm Alexander, is he really the best judge of which way madness lies?