by Jane Harris
This historical novel, set in Scotland and Ireland, in the late 19th century, was a very entertaining read. The voice of Bessy, a happenstance maid of all work at Castle Haivers (a misnomer), was quite realistic and carried the novel for me. Young Bessy, a former street prostitute finds herself hired on as a maid of all work on an estate in the Scottish countryside. The mistress of the household exhibits some strange tendencies, to be sure. She insists that Bessy record her thoughts and daily activities each day and subjects Bessy to some strange tests. Readers will enjoy the historic detail and subtle humor.