Patrick Browning first sees Anne Fitzgerald in the British Museum in front of the the Elgin marbles. Both young historians are fighting to uncover the secrets of Mary Nisbet, the wife of Lord Elgin whose diaries and letters interweave the novel.
‘There are times, often, when Sally Emerson, in the suddenness of her prose and smooth abruptness with which she changes key, recalls Muriel Spark. She has something, too, of Spark’s uncanny ability to suggest the fragility of our civilizedstate, the menace that lies just below the surface..read it quickly; savour it at your leisure.’ Allan Massie, Scotsman
'This is a most remarkable and elegant novel: steely too, swishing this way and that like a fine blade, catching present and past with a kind of icy dexterity. It has echoes of early Murdoch, at her most crystalline, or Durrell without the ornateness. It is also, of course, intensely romantic.'
'A serious class act. This is a wonderful book. Sally Emerson's writing is elegant and controlled and her observation of detail - the superfluous sounds you listen to when someone else is speaking, for example - is marvellous ... The ending is wonderful, unexpected, and perfect. I wish I could tell you what it is.'
Virginia Blackburn, Sunday Express
'Sally Emerson has an enormous gift for holding the reader in a case and forceful grip.'
Vicky Hutchings, New Statesman