The Somnambulist by Essie Fox

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Written by blogger The Virtual Victorian, this book tells the story of a 17 year old girl, Phoebe, coming of age caught between her strictly religious mother and beloved opera performer aunt. When her aunt kills herself after seeing a man from her past at a performance, family secrets start to emerge.

Based in the authors firm knowledge of the Victorian Era, and rife with little historical titbits, the story twists and turns cleverly as a mysterious man from her Aunt’s past takes Phoebe to be his wife’s companion. Everyone in the novel has dark secrets, murky pasts, and one misstep for a woman could mean the destruction of her reputation.

Eery and twisty, it’s a good yarn, and the book is beautifully packaged, making it a pleasure to read. It feels historically accurate, evocative, and romantic. It’s not trying to be a Victorian novel, but rather plays with the times and the setting, which make for a good read.

Read It If: you like stories of family secrets, romance and mystery though it might not please fans of Victorian novels.

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