Friday, 16 September 2011

Something for the weekend.

The Somnambulist by Essie Fox

While I’m not normally a fan of writing set in the Victorian era, this is an exceptional book. A well written gothic tale of young Phoebe who lives under the heavy strain of her sanctimonious and puritanical mother, Maud and her vivacious, glamourous aunt Cissy. Phoebe suffers one of the biggest tragedies of her young life only to find out that she has been lied to about where she comes from, who she is and most things about her life so far. The characters are excellently moulded, particularly Cissy and one gets a vivid impression that the character is based on someone the author may know/have known. Set in Victorian London’s East End in real locations such as Tredegar Square near Mile End Station and up the road in Bow, there are very believable situations constructed in the book dealing with racism and in particular, anti-semitism as well as sexism. Fox has crafted a tale unlike any other I’ve read here and having just finished it I want to read it all over again! A dream to read, this is an absolute page-turner and I recommend you read it if you’re a fan of the Victorian era, or just generally good writing.

Michelle

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