Includes Reading Group Notes.
Evelyn is a young woman who has defied convention to become one of the country's first female lawyers. Living at home with her mother, aunt and grandmother, Evelyn is still haunted by the death of her younger brother James in the First World War. Therefore when the doorbell rings late one night and a woman appears, claiming to have mothered James' child, her world is turned upside down. Evelyn distrusts Meredith at first, but also finds that this new arrival challenges her work-obsessed lifestyle. So far her legal career has not set the world alight. But then a case arises that make Evelyn realise perhaps she can make a difference.
Stephen Wheeler, a former acquaintance of her boss - has been charged with murdering his own wife. It is clear to Evelyn that he is innocent but he won't talk. Meanwhile, Meredith makes an earth-shattering accusation about James. With the Wheeler case coming to a head and her heart in limbo, Evelyn takes matters into her own hands.
It is brilliant - intimidatingly good, I'd say. What [McMahon has] done is on a par with Sarah Waters - namely, writing satisfying and authentic historical fiction, but with literary excellence and sentence by sentence attention to detail. A triumph. - Kate Mosse.
Katharine McMahon is the author of ten novels, including The Alchemist's Daughter and The Crimson Rooms, that focus on astonishing women and their ability to find a voice and make a mark, even at times and in societies when they are risking everything. The Rose of Sebastopol was a Richard & Judy pick and a Sunday Times bestseller. http://www.katharinemcmahon.com