A secret shared. Two lives entwined. Finally the past must come to light.
Bernie McGill has pursued a varied career in the arts, as a theatre manager, and most recently as a playwright. Her short stories have been shortlisted for numerous awards, and in 2008 her story 'Sleepwalkers' won the Zoetrope All-Story Short Fiction Contest. THE BUTTERFLY CABINET is her first novel. Bernie lives in Portstewart, Northern Ireland, with her family. For more on this author, visit her website: www.berniemcgill.com.
Beautifully done and thoroughly absorbing - Daily Mail An absorbing story of marriage, motherhood and murder - Woman and Home An intense exploration of maternal love and guilt - Financial Times Exceptionally accomplished - Ulster Tatler Utterly compelling... a haunted tale, pitch perfect in tone - Marie ClaireAssured and very readable, holding plenty of promise for the future - Irish Independent McGill has the ability to enter the brain and heart of her characters and so to make us sympathise with people who commit acts we abhor - Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey
Based loosely on a late-19th-century Irish murder case, McGill turns her gothic debut about the death of a young girl tied up alone in a room as punishment into an exquisite series of painful revelations. In the late 1960s, the pregnant Anna visits her old nurse, Maddie, who four decades before was a housemaid at the Castle at Oranmore. As Maddie reminisces, the viewpoint shifts between Maddie and her harsh employer, butterfly-collector Harriet Ormond, imprisoned in 1892 for the murder (accidental death, she claimed) of her four-year-old daughter, Charlotte, and later pregnant again with a daughter who would become Anna's mother. With the butterflies, pinned and displayed, serving as metaphor for the constricted lives of both Harriet's tightly disciplined children and Harriet herself, trapped in motherhood and frustrated by the unruly young Charlotte, McGill easily recreates the lives of the Castle's owners and servants and the intricate connections between them. As both Harriet and Maddie's stories emerge, the tale becomes a powder keg of domestic suspense that threatens to explode as long-kept secrets surrounding Charlotte's death are teased out. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.