This is a very atmospheric Victorian murder story but not quite in the conventional mode. The narrative skips around a bit but gradually a full picture of the heroine and her past emerge. It is bleak but gripping and contains one of the most gruesome, realistic and compelling descriptions of a primitive amputation I have ever read.
I had thought when I said goodbye to my child, that it was all over for me then, that I'd had my quota of love. The child loved me and I loved the child and that was bound to be the best love I would ever know. What followed could only ever be blank and heartless by comparison.