When her mother, Eve, tells Liza that she must leave their remote home, the gatehouse of a country mansion, Liza is terrified. Although 17 years of age, she has never been on a bus or a train, has never played with a child of her own age. She has almost no knowledge of a world described by her mother as evil and destructive.
Their strange, enclosed life together is over, because Eve has killed a man. And he is not the first. With £100 in cash, Liza is cast aside. However, she is not alone. There is one particular secret she has kept from her mother - her love affair with a young man who worked in the big house.
With him, gradually, Liza learns about the world, about herself, and must come to terms with the possibility that the murderous violence of her mother may be present in her.
©1993 Ruth Rendell (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
Liza, a young girl of sixteen must flee from her secluded home, the gatehouse of a great mansion, to avoid being questioned by the police about a crime that her mother Eve has just committed. She makes her way to her lover and proceeds to tell him, in the style of The Arabian Nights, the story of how she came to be in this situation, in the process revealing a life story full of intrigue and horror. Until then, Eve had tried her best to shield Liza from the world and all it's modern amenities, and most of what Liza knows about life is gleaned from the 19th century books available in the mansion. Liza looks just like Eve, and must find out whether she is a an exact copy of her mother in deed as well as in looks, or whether she can exercise her own free will. I found this tale quite gripping, enough so to include it among my favourite reads of the year, and the narration by Juliet Stephenson was of course excellent.
"Dire, absolutely dire."
No. Ruth Rendell is capable of much better. I waited and waited for something to happen.
She is one of my favourite narrators.
Definitely not. I can't imagine anyone commissioning it.
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