Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Butcher's Hook: a Novel / Janet Ellis, 347 pp.

Anne Jaccob lives a lonely, stifled life in 1763 London.  Her parents are focused elsewhere, her beloved tutor has betrayed her, and she is soon to be married to a man named Onions, with a personality worse than his name.  Although she has material comforts, Anne longs to break free, so when she meets young Fub, the butcher's assistant, it seems as though her life is finally beginning.

The plot sounds conventional, complete with spunky young heroine who wants to defy social mores and a handsome, penniless lover.  Don't be fooled, though - Ellis' writing is smart and moody, and Anne is...how to explain?  She is certainly willing to go to extremes to get what she wants.  Strange and dark, but definitely holds the reader's interest.

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