Havisham: Book summary and reviews of Havisham by Ronald Frame

Havisham

By Ronald Frame

Havisham
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2013,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

Before she became the immortal and haunting Miss Havisham of Great Expectations, she was Catherine, a young woman with all of her dreams ahead of her. Spry, imperious, she is the daughter of a wealthy brewer. But she is never far from the smell of hops and the arresting letters on the brewhouse wall - HAVISHAM - a reminder of all she owes to the family name and the family business.

Sent by her father to stay with the Chadwycks, Catherine discovers elegant pastimes to remove the taint of her family's new money. But for all her growing sophistication, Catherine is anything but worldly, and when a charismatic stranger pays her attention, everything - her heart, her future, the very Havisham name - is vulnerable.

In Havisham, Ronald Frame unfurls the psychological trauma that made young Catherine into Miss Havisham and cursed her to a life alone, roaming the halls of the mansion in the tatters of the dress she wore for the wedding she was never to have.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Frame offers a convincing recreation of the iconic Dickens character, but his tale suffers from centering on such an unappealing protagonist." - Publishers Weekly

"Frame's presentation of the era is substantial but not overdone... An intelligently imagined Dickens prequel." - Kirkus

"Havisham is delightful, and all the more so for sending you hungrily back to its source material." - Sunday Express (UK)

"To flesh out the back-story of one of the great characters in the English novel is an achievement which makes us return to the original with fresh eyes." - The Independent (UK)

"This re-imagining will delight readers...Frame has a talent for thrilling Victorian melodrama, and he tackles the controversial ending with superb assurance." - The Times (UK)

"Ronald Frame is one of Scotland's finest writers and this new book will confirm his reputation as a writer whom it is simply a delight to read." - Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series

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