I know there are many readers like me out there who will gobble up any story about a stately Victorian home with plenty of upstairs/downstairs class tension. I've tasted books like The Butterfly Cabinet before, and I still find them as alluring as toast and tea - good enough to be a regular part of the diet. And while the UK edition of the novel has a butterfly on the cover, it's no accident that the US edition appeals to readers with an aged stone house, spooky windows, and a jagged roofline; ancestral piles on this side of the pond just don't have the same patina. There are intriguing characters on both sides of the divide in Bernie McGill's Oranmore house, and the story provides readers the Victoriana they crave: there is social conservatism and florid wallpaper; there are shocking, outmoded ideas about child rearing. There are corsets.
McGill bases the story on real events that ...
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