It is 1718 and, in a small parish near Newcastle, Eliza Tally, a headstrong girl of sixteen, embarks on a reckless love affair that will prove her undoing. When her lover casts her off, denying their union, she is forced to travel to London, a city that attracts and alarms her in equal measure. There, she takes up a position in the house of an ...
It is 1718 and, in a small parish near Newcastle, Eliza Tally, a headstrong girl of sixteen, embarks on a reckless love affair that will prove her undoing. When her lover casts her off, denying their union, she is forced to travel to London, a city that attracts and alarms her in equal measure. There, she takes up a position in the house of an apothecary, Grayson Black, whom she trusts to salvage what remains of her reputation. From the highly acclaimed author of "The Great Stink" comes a gloriously written tale of consuming passions and obsessions. Set against the clamour and roar of eighteenth-century London, "The Nature of Monsters" brings vividly to life a world where the line separating science and madness is dangerously blurred, and where a single life counts for little in the relentless pursuit of progress.
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-03-05 British author Clark's second novel, a moving historical set in early 18th-century London, surpasses her acclaimed debut, The Great Stink (2005). When teenager Eliza Tally gets pregnant, her mother sells her into servitude to an apothecary, Grayson Black. Eliza struggles to survive in a bizarre household, unaware that her new master is interested in the effects of various emotions on her unborn child. Isolated save for a kindly, slow-witted fellow servant, Mary, Eliza develops an unlikely relationship with a French bookseller, Mr. Honfleur, who supplies Black with the scientific treatises he uses to inform his sadistic researches. Eliza hopes Honfleur will provide her with the means for escape. Unlike The Great Stink, this suspenseful tale contains no whodunit element, but as in her previous book, Clark's empathetic portrait of the powerless and the victimized will remind many readers of Dickens. Author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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