'Vastly original… Bessy is surely one of the most striking characters in recent fiction: cynical, disruptive, tender and very, very funny.' Independent on Sunday
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize
Scotland, 1863. In an attempt to escape her past, Bessy Buckley takes a job working as a maid in a big country house. But when Arabella, her beautiful mistress, asks her to undertake a series of bizarre tasks, Bessy begins to realise that she hasn't quite landed on her feet. In one of the most acclaimed debuts of recent years, Jane Harris has created a heroine who will make you laugh and cry as she narrates this unforgettable story about secrets and suspicions and the redemptive power of love and friendship.
I had reason to leave Glasgow, this would have been about three four years ago, and I had been on the Great Road about five hours when I seen a track to the left and a sign that said ‘Castle Haivers’....
Jane Harris was born in Belfast and brought up in Glasgow. Her debut novel, The Observations, was shortlisted for the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction, and she was also shortlisted for the British Book Awards Waterstone's Newcomer of the Year and the South Bank Show/Times Breakthrough Award. It was followed in 2011 by the highly acclaimed Gillespie & I, and that same year The Observations was chosen by Richard and Judy as one of their 100 Books of the Decade.
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