Really enjoyed this book. The main character, Bessie, is believable and complex. Parts of Bessie's past life are woven into the story teliing and help to illustrate the reasoning behind some of her actions, giving her a more three dimensional feel.
The ending seemed a little hurried, after the twists and turns of the story, but that may have just been my interpretation on it.
This was a gripping and entertaining read; the narrative of the main character, Bessie, really draws you in and gives a fascinating insight into servant life in Victorian times. I found her voice very authentic and in many ways she seemed to be wise beyond her years; I was quite surprised to discover a little way into the book that she was claiming to be 18 but was probably younger. She had obviously been through a lot and had had to grow up fast, however.
I did feel that the novel tailed off a little in the second half after the reasons for her mistress strange behaviour had been revealed. The suspense in the second half came largely from the question of whether the previous servant girl had been murdered or committed suicide, but I didnt find it quite as gripping as the first half. Overall, however, an enjoyable read and the fact that the two main characters both ended up in an asylum but with their roles reversed provided a neat ending.
I really enjoyed this book too, I was gripped throughout, although I agree that the ending seemed a bit too hurried, it tied up all the loose ends nicely.
Bessie is a very endearing character, a Victorian servant girl, as the book unfolds you find out more and more about her past life and why she was running away to find a new life when we first met her. Her early life turns out to have been pretty grim, but it is told in such a way as to not be too depressing or self pitying, she is a plucky little person who deserves a happy ending. The character of the master of the house turns out to be a lot more decent than I would have thought after reading the earlier parts of his story, despite keeping some pretty unpleasant company.
Will be on the lookout for more books by this author.