I could never see very far around the bend ahead, and the story galloped for most of the read. Sarah Waters writes scenes that are richly atmospheric, and Juanita McMahon's voices are magic in themselves, so even when we're in suspense, waiting for what seems inevitable (so you may think), the wait is interesting and I always felt as if I were in the room with these characters.
I love historical English fiction and it's nice to get away from historical figures and into the lives of ordinary people. The comparison to Dickens is inescapable in that these are the struggles of the poor and it's a cruel world out there. It's also sexy and tricky. This is smart and well-crafted and an escapist reader's delight.
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