Janet Ellis has given us a tale set in Georgian London which possesses all the well-plotted intrigue and gritty reality of these great predecessors (Dickens' Bleak House and Brontë's Jane Eyre) - yet Ellis' heroine has a steely determination to break out of the constraints of her circumstances and get the man she wants at any cost.Lonesome Reader,
This is a distinctly original novel of a young woman's sexual awakening... She is savvy enough to see the shortcomings of those around her and play them to her own advantage. Anne's narrative is so vivid it invokes the sensory experience of the time period and the unsavoury habits of those around her... Ellis writes so well about that all-consuming infatuation we've all felt in first love. It's not romanticized, but deeply physical and tied to a strident rejection of Anne's circumstances... It's refreshing to read about a character set in this time period that is in many ways sympathetic, yet is also capable of horrifyingly monstrous acts. The drama escalates throughout the novel making it an increasingly gripping read as the story progresses... Janet Ellis has created a fierce, memorable heroine and an inventive atmospheric story. It has all the richness of Dickensian detail and the modern flair of Sarah Waters. I also have to mention that the cover design and colour of this book is exceptionally beautiful.