Since she was twelve, Meriel Garland has lived with her grandfather in London, exiled from her beloved India following the death of her mother. Now sixteen, Meriel chafes against the strict regime of tests and study that her grandfather imposes on her. Escaping, she discovers a world outside her narrow existence - one that promises admiration for her acting skills, social success and the excitement of seances. But what should have been a game turns serious as the young medium Sophie Casson passes on a message from Meriel's dead mother - and Meriel begins to suspect she might not be alone in the world after all. In searching for the truth about her past, Meriel uncovers a sinister scheme - and soon it's hard to know who she can really trust. Goodreads.
Review - In most respects the title, cover and synopsis are rather misleading in presenting this story to the world. Not that the synopsis is incorrect but I was expecting something altogether different. Eagland has tried something different within the historical setting that works in some context and not in others. The ultimate mystery is one that was rather unique and intriguingly played into the clash of scientific beliefs of the era. The integration of the mystical elements was less successful as it felt more of a plot device than an element to colour the world. That being said, while there are disparate parts of this novel that don't gel together as well as I would have hoped, the book is an interesting and curious read.
Recommendation - Historical intrigue with an unique premise.
Published: August 6, 2010
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Young Picador