In 1848, the sisters Charlotte and Anne Bronte travel from Haworth to London to resolve an issue with Charlotte's publisher George Smith. Charlotte has been accused of a breach of contract, and the issue can be best addressed in person.
In London, Charlotte witnesses the murder of a young woman named Isabel White whom she and Anne met during their trip to London. As no-one seems to be interested in finding Isabel's murderer, Charlotte is determined to discover why Isabel was murdered and to bring the offender to justice.
And thus begins a story which becomes more and more incredible with each page. It was difficult for me to imagine any of the Brontė sisters in the roles Ms Rowland has written for them, but this didn't stop me from reading to the end just to find out how the mystery was resolved. After all, the events were becoming more and more fantastical and I just had to know how it would end.
I did not enjoy this novel. In part this is because my view of the Brontės has developed over 40 years and I cannot imagine them in the roles described in this novel. Does that matter? Not really but the story itself didn't work for me. Can I recommend it to others? No, not unless you are prepared to read a strange mixture of very unlikely events peppered with some biographical accuracies and some historical improbabilities.
I am less attached to Charlotte Brontė than to her sisters but I am not at all comfortable with this faintly ridiculous portrayal of her.