If you’re a fan of Rebecca by Dapne du Maurier, (and well, who isn’t?!) and The Yellow Wallpaper, the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, this is a reminiscent read of the classics combined. Think fallen woman, glamourous beauty of the past that haunts and a hint of crazy. Ta-da!
Alice Everleigh, a typist in London, falls for a married man and oopsy, gets pregnant…
Her mother is furious and sends her away to Firecombe Manor in the country to hide away and give birth and then put the baby up for adoption. Alice, blossoms not only in pregnancy, but finds herself unfurling and discovering the secrets of Firecombe too. Why is the glasshouse out of bounds? What is behind the sadness of Mrs Jelphs eyes? And who does the white toy hare belong to?
This is a haunting story told from Alice’s point of view and Elizabeth Stanton, the former lady of the house who just can’t be captured by a photograph. Both point of views show the restrictions on females in society at the time. Elizabeth is a corsetted into her role as doting mother and modest wife and mother to the future heir of Stanton house that,is it any wonder that the pregnancies are such a struggle?
And would it be complete without a dashing, eligable bachelor?
Well, of course not silly!
Read this if what you watch on telly is a mixture of Downton Abbey, Escape to the Country and Most Haunted.
Overall, a really good read, some beautiful descriptions, great depictions of a proper English summer and an interesting look at post-natal depression and it’s treatment in the past.
The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riodan. Buy your copy here