‘Vividly imagined’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Sex and death meet again in [a] marvellous evocation of Edwardian England’ Daily Mail
The girl reminded me of my favourite chocolates, whipped hazelnut creams, and I knew just from looking at her that I wanted her for my best friend.
Queen Victoria is dead. In January 1901, the day after her passing, two very different families visit neighbouring graves in a London cemetery. The traditional Waterhouses revere the late Queen where the Colemans have a more modern outlook, but both families are appalled by the friendship that springs up between their respective daughters.
As the girls grow up, their world changes almost beyond measure: cars are replacing horses, electric lighting is taking over from gas, and emancipation is fast approaching, to the delight of some and the dismay of others…
”'Sex and death meet again in Tracy Chevalier's marvellous evocation of Edwardian England” - Daily Mail
”'Cleverly atmospheric” - Sunday Telegraph
”'The author's grip on the reader is as powerful as in her first novel. It is almost impossible to break off reading this driving narrative” - Independent
”'A master stylist in the making” - Boston Globe
”'Writing about the past — especially this much written-about period — has its pitfalls, but Chevalier has triumphantly avoided them. The result is a novel that shows both the strangeness of the world as it was and its closeness to our own time” - The Times