BookBrowse Reviews The Observations by Jane Harris

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The Observations

By Jane Harris

The Observations
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  • Hardcover: Jun 2006,
    416 pages.
    Paperback: Jul 2007,
    416 pages.

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An astonishing imaginative feat, brilliantly written in bravura, bawdy style. First Novel

The Observations is a brilliantly spirited first novel set in Victorian Scotland that parodies the sensationalist fiction of the Victorian era (think Wilkie Collins with a dry and dark sense of humor). Bessy Buckley is on the road desperate to find a new position following the death of her former employer and before her dubious past catches up with her. A chance encounter with a woman and an escaped pig lands her with a job at run down Castle Haivers (on the outskirts of Edinburgh) as "in and out girl" for the beautiful Arabella.

Bessy has few skills as a housekeeper (her former employment having been spent predominantly horizontal rather than vertical) but her ability to read and write is what is of interest to Arabella, who is secretly writing a book detailing her observations of the various servants who have passed through her house and, as part of her ...

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