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Arthur Phillips was born in Minneapolis and educated at Harvard. He has been a child actor, jazz musician, speechwriter, dismally failed entrepreneur and 5-time Jeopardy winner. He has written two other novels, The Egyptologist, and Prague, both available from Duckworth. He lives in New York City.
‘A spectacular, ever-proliferating tale of mingled motives, psychological menace, and delicately told crises of appetite and loneliness’ New Yorker
‘Phillips is prodigiously gifted’ Guardian
In Victorian London, Constance, a lowly clerk, marries Joseph Barton, a biological researcher, and believes she has found her ultimate husband and protector. But after three miscarriages and the troubled birth of their daughter, Angelica, things begin to change. Constance begins to fear her husband's intentions, his potentially murderous hatred of her, and his efforts to alienate her from their child. Sensing the presence of supernatural evil in the house, she calls upon a spiritualist to save them all.
Angelica weaves a tapestry of parallel and sometimes conflicting interpretations of the lives of Constance, Ann Montague - the spiritualist in whom Constance places her deepest trust - Joseph, and Angelica herself. Nothing here is as it seems...