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The estranged grandson of a wealthy collector of human curiosities becomes fascinated with teenaged twin sisters, leading them into a web of dark obsessions. A dazzlingly dark gothic novel from the bestselling author of The Sonambulist 'Mysterious, sometimes shocking, full of surprises and twists ... brimming with Victorian wonders!' Sean Lusk 'Essie Fox follows in the footsteps of Angela Carter and AS Byatt with an adult fairy tale that delves into the darkest compulsions of human nature ... an opium trance of a novel, a vivid fantasmagoria' Noel O'Reilly 'An enthralling tale about deception, love and loss, and what it means to be different. Macabre and shocking, beautiful and tender, it had me spellbound' Louisa Treger _ Victorian England. A world of rural fairgrounds and glamorous London theatres. A world of dark secrets and deadly obsessions... Twin sisters Keziah and Tilly Lovell are identical in every way, except that Tilly hasn't grown a single inch since she was five. Coerced into promoting their father's quack elixir as they tour the country fairgrounds, at the age of fifteen the girls are sold to a mysterious Italian known as 'Captain'. Theo is an orphan, raised by his grandfather, Lord Seabrook, a man who has a dark interest in anatomical freaks and other curiosities ... particularly the human kind. Resenting his grandson for his mother's death in childbirth, when Seabrook remarries and a new heir is produced, Theo is forced to leave home without a penny to his name. Theo finds employment in Dr Summerwell's Museum of Anatomy in London, and here he meets Captain and his theatrical 'family' of performers, freaks and outcasts. But it is Theo's fascination with Tilly and Keziah that will lead all of them into a web of deceits, exposing the darkest secrets and threatening everything they know... Exploring universal themes of love and loss, the power of redemption and what it means to be unique, The Fascination is an evocative, glittering and bewitching gothic novel that brings alive Victorian London - and darkness and deception that lies beneath... _ 'Elixirs, fairgrounds, fairies in jars. Twins and monsters and outcasts. Essie Fox's fascinating and immersive tale is, at its heart, about acceptance of difference. I loved it' Anna Mazzola 'A beautiful, haunting tale peopled by a thrilling set of living, breathing characters. This is very fine historical fiction' Emma Carrol 'Beautifully controlled ... This is exceptional storytelling, exquisitely told' Nydia Hetherington 'Beautifully researched, full of horrors and delights ... a chilling, thrilling slice of Victorian gothic' Bridget Walsh 'So inventive and surprising ... beautiful writing, unforgettable characters and some wicked humour, too' Juliet West 'A sumptuous, gothic treat that will reel you in and not let you go until the final page. Bravo!' Caroline Green 'Essie Fox is the mistress of gothic Victoriana ... utterly beguiling and rendered in exquisite detail. This is a wonderful, captivating carnival of a novel' Elizabeth Fremantle 'Wonderfully vivid and touching ... extraordinary' Adele Geras 'I loved this story of a group of wonderful 'others' fighting to find their place and purpose in a glittering, but unforgiving, Victorian England' Marika Cobbold 'Atmospheric, gripping and ultimately uplifting, it's a tale of cruelty and depravity, but also love, friendship and acceptance' Karen Coles 'Richly detailed, beautifully written ... a fascinating read' Michael J Malone 'A kaleidoscopic, twisting, devilish novel guaranteed to dazzle and delight. I was utterly beguiled by this wonder of a novel' Dan Bassett, Bookseller

The Fascination by Essie Fox

SKU: 9781914585524
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