The blurb: You must cross my palm with silver first, my pretty miss.’
1860s, London. The capital’s high society ladies like nothing more than to while away an evening at a private supper party, drinking sweet wine, sharing confidences – and having their fortunes read. But palm-reading is a perilous business: the lines of the left hand can unlock secrets and reveal futures best left buried.
When fortune-teller Miss Rose is called to entertain Lady Quayle and her guests at Portland Place, she sees in the palm of shy, cautious Emily a future she is forced to keep to herself. ‘A quiet life, my dear’ is what she tells the girl. But she spies two little crosses that spell something quite different – fearful, violent death.
As Rose’s predictions start coming true, her own fortunes become embroiled in the suspect fates of others and the future suddenly seems a dark and dangerous place. With a plucky heroine and a rollicking story, Sara Stockbridge’s second novel is a cauldron of subterfuge and mysticism.
My review: I have to say I did snigger when I read that the main gypsy’s name in this book is Rose Lee, and I did think the cover could have looked more exciting but I will leave my critiscisms there.
This is a fantastically haunting tale of 1860’s London, Sara Stockbridge paints a city filled with vice and exuberance. The story is told from two main first person narratives, from Rose Lee the gypsy palm reader called in to entertain Lady Quayle and from Lady Quayle’s wayward daughter Tabitha. These two women have strong voices and are strong women, however they both have very different moral compasses!
I judged this book to soon, I thought it was going to be predictable. This tale had more twists than a pretzel and every time I thought I knew what was going to happen I was shocked to find almost the opposite was true. It is at turns intriguing, romantic, shocking and disturbing. It is descriptively lovely and Sara Stockbridge really has a feel for why people were so in love with the Romani. A brilliantly spooky Victorian tale.
8.5 out of 10 stars! ********.5
BUY ME! Cross My Palm