The Observations Paperback
by Jane Harris
This story is set in Scotland, in the year 1863. In an attempt to escape her not-so-innocent past in Glasgow, Bessy Buckley - the wide-eyed Irish heroine of "The Observations" - takes a job as a maid in a big house outside Edinburgh working for the beautiful Arabella.
Bessy is intrigued by her new employer, but puzzled by her increasingly strange requests and her insistence that Bessy keep a journal of her most intimate thoughts. And it seems that Arabella has a few secrets of her own - including her near-obsessive affection for Nora, a former maid who died in mysterious circumstances.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 544 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber
- Publication Date: 01/02/2007
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780571223367
Showing 1 - 5 of 11 reviews.
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Review by tronella
I enjoyed this one a lot! Set in Scotland in the 1860s, it's about a teenage girl who ends up as a servant in a slightly decrepit manor house in the middle of nowhere, and gets mixed up in her mistress's mysterious past. Really well written, well enough for me to get over my usual dislike of writing in dialect, and I enjoyed the mystery elements.
Review by Fluffyblue
Absolutely wonderful. I loved Bessy, the main character, she was so warm, funny and very real. This is a superb book. Not an awful lot happens in it to be honest, but the words were a joy to read.
Review by infjsarah
I had to read this book as part on my reading group and I found it incredibly boring. If it had not been a reading group book I would have given up at page 200 and ultimately I skim read the last half. Very little happens and I couldn't have cared less about what did happen. I found the slang irritating and the style ponderously heavy. Bessie does come out with a few humourous comments but they are few and far between.If you want a good Victorian style novel try Fingersmith instead.
Review by heidialice
In Victorian Scotland, Bessy flees from her past in Glasgow and takes a job as a housekeeper in a country manor house. As Arabella, her mistress, starts to behave strangely, and strange things happen, Bessy worries that she might be caught up in something sinister.Bessy's course, crass, unintentionally funny, and always unreliable voice steal the show. The story is a nice Victorian thriller that will keep you guessing, and is a fair comment on the role(s) of women during that time, but Bessy is what makes this an exceptional read.
Review by soliloquies
Enjoyable read with a great protagonist, she really does leap from the pages. Found the plot a bit lacking in places, but overall a good read.
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