In The Ugly Sister, Winston Graham returns to Cornwall, home to his classic Poldark series. The Napoleonic Wars have ended, the age of steam has dawned. he introduces us to a wealth of memorable characters as Emma Spry tells her fascinating story. One side of her face marred at birth, Emma grows up without affection, her elegant mother on the stage, her father killed in a duel before she was born. Her beautiful sister, Tamsin, is four years the elder and her mother’s ambitions lie in Tamsin’s future and in her own success, both on the stage and off. A shadow over their childhood at Place House, the family home of their uncle, is the bulky presence of Slade, the butler, an ominous man who has access to cellars not accessible to all. Then there is Bram Fox, a predatory male, with his mischievous eyes and dazzling smile, who is a dangerous free-spirit and an ongoing distraction; Charles Lane, a skilled and visionary young engineer; Canon Robartes, in his draughty moorland rectory, relishing rebellion in the young Emma, her wit, her vulnerability, encouraging her natural gift for song. Emma tells her story with a blunt and beguiling honesty, and no novelist has written more lyrically of Cornwall. The Ugly Sister is a joy to read.
Condition – A little torn on the dust jacket; Otherwise OK