Gillespie and I by Jane Harris, 608 pages
Orange Prize Longlist 2012
You know amazon's feature, May We Recommend? If you like these books, then try? Here's my recommended reading list for Gillespie and I: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, Arthur and George by Julian Barnes, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale and maybe a little Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. So, Victorian mystery book, and if you enjoy narrator's that are possibly unreliable? Get yourself a copy of Gillespie and I!
Harriet Baxter decides in 1933 London that she must write the biography of the obscure Scottish painter, Ned Gillespie. In her words, who better to tell his story? Through flashbacks, Harriet tells of her meeting of the Gillespie family in Glasgow at the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1888 and her growing friendship with Ned, his wife, their children, and his mother. The deliciousness of the story is reading between the lines of Harriet's story, and deciding how the family sees her. The first half of the book sets the scene, and the second half deals with the aftermath of an incident, all from Harriet's view.
Harris writes in an easy style, and the book was a real page turner. Really, the less you know, the more enjoyable the read, although as Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory would say, now I've spoiled you to the fact that there is something enjoyable or surprising about the book.