Friday, 30 March 2007

The Observations - Jane Harris

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this, having just realised it wasn't the new Joanne Harris, as I had thought in the bookshop (oops). However, the nineteenth century ambience and the quirky narrative of Bessy the maid/child prostitute was thoroughly engaging. When the 'supernatural' aspect of the story kicked in I was reminded of the non-ghost story that is 'Northanger Abbey', with rational explanations obvious only to those who wish to see them. Bessy's rather odd mistress ('marm') and her spiralling insanity keep the story rattling along, as the tricks Bessy plays get rather out of hand leading to a shock as her past meets her present.

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