This is the story of novelist Charlotte Cory's obsessive quest after Lora Wilkinson, whose diary Cory bought in a second-hand bookshop in Chester. Focused around the life of a teenage girl in the year 1860 in Ceylon, it is an historical investigation - a tracking through time - which is recorded with precision and conveyed with a novelist's sense of time and place. It's domestic history which expands from its narrow Chester beginnings to encompass not only colonial India but much of Anglo-Irish history, from the 1790s uprisings and the the famine ships sailing to the States all the way to the Dublin of Joyce. It carries its readers with it as Cory gets closer and closer to her subject.
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