Gillespie and I, By Jane Harris | The IndependentYou see somehow I am going to have to no really, you have to make you read this and yet somehow tell you very little about it. Yes, this is one of those novels that once read you want to talk to anyone and everyone about it. But here goes anyway…. You instantly know there is a lot more to this tale than meets the eye, intriguing. Indeed, one might say, who else is left to tell the tale? That is really all I can say on the plot, however if you are a fan of Victorian sensation fiction and those eerie tales from that era then you are going to absolutely love this. One of the things is just how darkly funny the book is.
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What a great start back from our summer break, a popular book with loads to get our literary teeth into, and two new members, Trish and Glenda — both are very welcome! We first went round the circle to see what everybody made of the book itself. A few had found it a little hard to get into initially, whereas others had found the scene setting details about Glasgow and the International Exhibition interesting. Several of us had been intrigued and unclear as to where the story was going — a love story perhaps, as suggested by the ambiguous title, but it had gradually dawned on us all if at different times! And so we moved on to the central mysteries at the heart of this book.
Victorian gothic mystery by Jane Harris. She meets the Scottish painter, Ned Gillespie, and his wife, Annie - but tragedy is about to strike the Gillespies. The end was a bit disappointing but the book is quite good. Even if I asn't able to read the full story Gillespie and I by Jane Harris , an interesting article has been published about this book. Self-portrait by Carel Fabritius. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving….
The opening of Jane Harris's clever and entertaining second novel gives little indication of how dark it will become. Harriet Baxter, a cultured and refined woman approaching her 80th year, sits in her London flat in writing a memoir of events that happened in Glasgow in We are addressed directly as "Reader", as in a Victorian novel, such words as "sojourn" are used, and the writing is measured and stately. Yet a faint tinge of something wild and overwrought underlies. This, we are told, will be a testament to her "dear friend and soul mate", the artist Ned Gillespie, who burned all his paintings and committed suicide. Now, for posterity, she will be the first to record the true story of this "forgotten genius". The back-story forms the main body of the book, but we never lose touch with its present-day narrator, whose situation will be revealed eventually as the last act of a chlling drama.
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J ane Harris's debut, The Observations , was a rollicking door-stopper of a novel that drew its inspiration from the Victorian Gothic tradition of Wilkie Collins. Both a critical and commercial hit, the book was distinguished not only by the skill with which Harris unspooled her labyrinthine plot but by the originality of its narrative voice. Bessy Buckley, the irrepressible Irish scullery maid, was an unforgettable character, blunt but vulnerable, sharp-eyed but tender-hearted, and inclined to a hilariously disparaging running commentary on the habits of her social superiors. Gillespie and I is also a novel dominated by its narrator. Harriet Baxter is an elderly English woman embarking in upon the memoir of an artist she describes as a "forgotten genius". Forty years have elapsed since Ned Gillespie committed suicide at the age of 36, having burned almost all of his paintings, but the narrator still suffers an "eternal aching sadness" when she thinks of him. He was, she says, her "dear friend and soul mate", whom she understood "through his merest glance"; his own family, she remarks regretfully, proved at least as much burden to him as inspiration.