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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

An Unreliable Narrator In The Nineteenth Century

Gillespie and I - Jane  Harris

Set In Glasgow at the end of the nineteenth century, Gillespie And I is the account of a friendship between the narrator, now an elderly spinster living in Bloomsbury but at that time a young woman of independent means, and an artist, Ned Gillespie. It focuses, in particular, on a dreadful tragedy which overtakes his family and a subsequent trial in which she is accused of a heinous crime.

It's a story in which our understanding of the central character shifts as the narrative progresses and we begin to realise that we are not being told the whole truth. From the partial account provided we must piece together what really happened, and, more importantly, why.

With its complex psychology and its period detail, Gillespie And I has much in common with Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger. Intriguing, sometimes harrowing and shot through with gallows humour, this is the sort of book Reading Groups will love to discuss.