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The Mistressclass

by Michelle Roberts

A beautifully written story of the complex relationships between Adam, his wife and her sister. The book evokes the sensuality felt by women, and the guilt and pain that arises out of the need for love. Haunting the novel is the person of Charlotte Bronte, whose own search for fulfilment adds to the atmosphere of overwhelming passion that permeates the book. The pastoral landscapes of France and the urban setting of London are sensuously described, contributing to an intense and moving read.

Extract

What were they celebrating? Vinny felt it must be the end of summer, the toppling ripeness of the season, the hazlenuts and apples clustering on the trees, the red berries gleaming on the bryony and hawthorn in the hedgerows. The bonfire with its freight of killed greenery made her feel sad, and yet it was beautiful too. Sweat rinsed her back. It felt good now to stand around in the heat; wearing only a skimpy voile top and denim hotpants; tasting the warm bitterness of the beer as it slid down, breathing in the bitter smell of burning, the scent of grass and freshly cut pine, watching the plumes of smoke, the red flames flicker up like antlers.

Parallels

Daughters of Jerusalem by Charlotte Mendleson
The Distance Between Us by Maggie O'Farrell
 

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