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Little Bones [Hardcover]

Janette Jenkins
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.26 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Jan 2012

It's 1899. London. A young girl is abandoned by her feckless family and finds lodging and work assisting a doctor. But Jane Stretch is no ordinary girl, and Mr Swift is no ordinary doctor...

Jane does her best to keep up with the doctor, her twisted bones throbbing, as they hurry past the markets, stage doors and side shows to appointments in certain boarding houses across town. The young actresses who live there have problems, and Mr Swift does what is required, calmly and discreetly. Grateful to her benefactor and his wife, Jane assists him and asks no questions - the desperate young women not minding that it is a cripple girl who wipes their brows...

When this unlikely pair become involved with a rakish music hall star, Johnny Treble, who calls on Swift's help for his rich mistress's predicament, it seems that Jane's spell of good fortune is not going to last. The police come knocking - how will the doctor explain the absence of his medical certificates? How will they explain their connection to Johnny Treble's sudden death? And how will Jane argue her innocence? It seems that no amount of wand waving will make their problems disappear.

Little Bones conjures a tawdry, tantalising, troubling world of unclear morality and conflicting sympathies - richly evocative and full of curiosities.Two people act against their consciences simply to get by, and the choices we make are called into question.Is it possible to commit abhorrent acts without being corrupted by them?

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus; First Edition edition (5 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 070118194X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701181949
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 718,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Janette Jenkins studied acting before completing a degree in Literature and Philosophy and then doing the MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she was in Malcolm Bradbury's final class. She is the author of five novels, Columbus Day, Another Elvis Love Child, Angel of Brooklyn and Little Bones. Her latest novel, Firefly, will be published in June, 2013, and in the USA in October. Her short stories have appeared in newspapers and anthologies, including Stand magazine, and have been broadcast on Radio 4. In 2003 she was awarded an Alumni Fellowship by the University of Bolton. She lives in the city of Durham.

Product Description


"Compelling...a fine novel: the best kind of historical fiction" (Judith Flanders TLS)

Book Description

The breakthrough novel from acclaimed writer Janette Jenkins - a dark tale from Victorian London, of ghosts, the clang of prison gates, and what goes on behind closed doors...

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark Victorian tale 19 Jan 2012
Living in Victorian London a young cripple girl is abandoned by her family. She is taken under the wing of Mr.Swift who helps young actresses who have 'problems'.
Unfortunately they meet Mr.Treble and things go very wrong, and the police come knocking at the door.
A dark atmospheric story with well written characters who have their own tales to tell.
The story had me gripped from the first to the last page and I have now bought two more of Janette Jenkins books as I was so impressed by this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Victorian Fiction 9 April 2013
By Rossi
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
1899 and it's survival of the fittest on the streets of London and for young Jane life is tougher than for most with not only the pain of her crippled bones to contend with, but the daily hurtful taunts regarding her as a useless freak of nature. Jane is bright and resourceful though and has a hunger for learning and knowledge. When her heartless family move on leaving her behind, she endears herself to her landlady and starts working as an assistant to her landlady's husband - a doctor who helps showgirls with their 'problems'. Through her work, Jane becomes entangled in the case of an unexplained death, but who is going to believe a poor cripple girl's story?

I thought this was going to be a run of the mill Victorian London novel - I was wrong. This was a beautifully and sympathetically written account of a strong young woman, who most unusually for fictional Victorian heroines was not reliant on her charm and looks and that made it all somewhat refreshing, I really felt for Jane and her plight. I loved the characterisation and the bawdy descriptions of the time - a very enjoyable and well written book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 4 Mar 2013
This book was exactly the kind of book I wanted to read at the time, the story line is enticing and the character of Jane is very well portrayed from beginning to end - allowing the reader to truly see her developing character. It is easy to emphasise with Jane through her struggles, and see her grow as a person.

Overall a great read and highly recommended.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not very good. 7 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I would not recommend this book really. Seemed to take an age to get going with lots of clichés. Sorry.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars A very compelling read 25 Mar 2014
By annie palmer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I downloaded a free sample of this book after having finished another book by Janette Jenkins which I'd quite enjoyed (Firefly). The sample left me wanting to know what happened to poor little Jane, a crippled child abandoned by her parents and her older sister, so I wasted no time in purchasing the full edition, and I'm so glad I did. I found Jane to be a captivating and charming character. Despite her difficult circumstances, and the clandestine, sordid world she was drawn into, she retained her innocence, good manners, and sense of decency. As her circumstances go from bad to slightly better, and then to much worse, she uses her imagination to keep an optimistic outlook, and never gives up hope of her family coming back for her. The book is set in London in the gloomy days of the late 19th Century, with all its sins and poverty, and underlying Jane's story is a tale that questions the rights and wrongs of Jane's, and her doctor employer's "crimes". However, the veiled examination of the morals of the times do not at all deflect from the story itself, and the events that befall Jane. I became completely absorbed in the story from the first few pages to the very end of the book.
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