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Fixing Shadows

by Susan Barrett

Dark, foreboding, compulsive, with beautiful descriptive powers, this is a must read. The author has truly captured the lengths a woman will go to save herself and her family. The tale unfolds in the late victorian era, when women were powerless over men, but two women find their lives entwined by a mutual secret, and a bond that cannot be broken.

Extract

Now that she is alone the Duchess sits with the baby on her knee and explores his still face with her lips for the merest breath, the vaguest warmth. She brings his chest close to feel and listen for any fluttering, turns her finger in one lax palm, trying to waken in him the reflex to grip on to life. She has curbed her compulsive pacing and brought her ragged breathing under control; finally she is still enough and quiet enough to understand that her boy does not move or breathe. The alarming shout that Lord John mistook for the crow of triumph was in truth her howl of recognition that what she held in her arms was nothing but the corpse of a great hope.

Parallels

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
 

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