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The Observations
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About the Author

Jane Harris's short stories have appeared in a wide variety of anthologies and magazines, and she has written several award-winning short films. In 2000, she received a Writer's Award from the Arts Council of England.

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Irish lass Bessy is puzzled when her new mistress, Arabella, asks her to keep a journal-and not a little alarmed when she realizes how obsessed Arabella is with deceased maid Nell. An award-winning British short story writer and filmmaker debuts as a novelist. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Bessy Buckley comes upon Castle Haivers on her way to Edinburgh in 1863. An Irish girl, she's in "Scratchland" to improve her station, and ends up a scullery maid to a strange, lovely mistress, Arabella Reid (on whom she develops something of a crush), despite her lack of experience. Bessy's discovery of Arabella's book, The Observations, which she is writing about servants she's had and their cooperativeness, tests her loyalty to Arabella ("the missus") five-fold and sets in motion a tragedy (complete with supernatural elements). Bessy learns that being above-stairs is no guarantee of happiness, and others may have as much to hide as she does. Sharp, funny and tender-hearted, Bessy is an accomplishment for Londoner and first-time novelist Harris, who also manages the pace, period and book-within-a-book conceit nicely. (June 19) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

A deliriously captivating tale of sex, ghosts, lies, and mysteries. (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love)

By turns funny and sad, but always true to the ear. And the sprightly, profane Bessy is a joy. (Entertainment Weekly) It s a rare feeling to be swept up by a book in the childhood way, but when it happens, it s extraordinary: deeply familiar and strangely unsettling. (London Review of Books) The Observations combines the best qualities of literary fiction with page-turning accessibility. (The Observer, London)

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