It is a warm and accomplished work of sympathetic imagination. I felt myself, as I read, wholly absorbed into Alice s painful but fascinating interior life. --Hilary Mantel
Alexander has taken this troubled and troubling woman (Alice James) as the subject of her latest novel, and what an insightful, moving, fascinating triumph of a book it has proved to be. Her version of Alice is heartbreakingly intelligent; she is also irascible, manipulative, resentful, clear-eyed, brave, passionate. The fictionalising of a real-life figure can be tricky, but with this intense, demanding and hugely rewarding read, Alexander has achieved it with ease. --Lesley MacDowell, Sunday Herald
William James, the psychologist
Henry James, the writer
Alice James, the sister? Alice James spends most of her short life in bed. Henry calls it her solution to the practical problem of life’, and William is too busy and too far away to pay much attention. Her lifelong companion, Katharine Loring, is a constant support, but in the midst of coping with Alice’s pain and frustration, the two women are faced with the shock of discovering Henry has made use of them in his fiction. Alice’s witty voice rises vividly from the page as she casts an acerbic eye on the characters who populate her life and on the tensions between Katharine and Henry in this compelling fictional memoir.