The Ghost of Lily Painter Paperback – 2 Jun 2011
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"I read it in two days flat and enjoyed it hugely - a wonderful combination of ghost story, detective story and social history." (Gaynor Arnold, author of 'Girl in a Blue Dress')
"Davies effortlessly combines mystery, history and romance to create a spellbinding tale. It is a novel that will sweep you up and make you forget your own reality. Spookily good" (News of the World)
"In this dark thriller, Caitlin Davies uses the haunted house as the frame for a disturbing story of cruelty in Victorian London." (Daily Mail)
"[A] meticulously researched and moving new novel" (Camden New Journal)
A spellbinding novel which combines rich writing with a sinister period in London's historySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Caitlin Davies has written this book in such a brilliant way. She transports you in language form to the 1900's and the way in which she writes is exactly how people in that era used the English language. Then she transports you back to this time and the way she writes changes, its' quite amazing and very clever the way she has done this. I can highly recommend this book, it's an easy read, a great story and very well written.
It is a well plotted and capably narrated novel, with the historical elements strong. The story also covers issues in modern England such as family relations and the role of children. However, it does depend upon a number of outrageous coincidences and the plot is completely cliché-ridden too, with an utterly predictable outcome. Lily’s ghost monitors proceedings in Annie’s property, adding another unnecessarily fantastical element to the story.
There are dead bodies in this book, and there is a ghost. But given the historical accuracy and detailed research the author has undertaken this reads unlike any ghost story I have come across, in that it is totally believable. There is romance (normally a definite NO for me in reading) and a high degree of literacy (something I can also do without occasionally) but, as with the "ghost story", none are overwhelming.
A real gem of a book.
Annie Sweet lives in number 43 Stanley Road, Holloway, a house which she is instantly drawn to with her husband Ben, and daughter Molly. In 1901 Lily Painter along with her sister, father and step-mother had lived in the same house as lodgers of a Police Inspector and his family. Annie starts to look on the 1901 census, initially for family members but with few details to go on looks to see who lived in her house and becomes interested in Lily Painter, wanting to discover what sort of life she would have led.
The book is divided between the past and the present by devices such as Inspector William George writing a journal starting in 1901 detailing his life as an Inspector, his family life and the crimes of some baby farmers. Lily (the ghost) commentates about life as it was for her then, whilst observing the present day occupants of the house she has haunted for many years. We also have Annie Sweet detailing her present life with her daughter and the mounting interest she has in Lily Painter.
There is a lot of historical fact within this book, the named baby farmers who have their part in this story are based upon real people, well researched and smoothly inserted into the story line.
The story depends on more than a little coincidence but that in no way detracted from the immense pleasure I got from reading this book.
I recommend this book to those interested in this history of the 20th Century although there is enough substance in this book that I believe this book would be enjoyed by anyone who loves a good, well written story.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was well written, though at times I did feel it was a little patronising. I feel in love with the 3 main characters and enjoyed how the book switched from one era to... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
Being a professional book reviewer for the Post, in the Costa Blanca, Spain, my books are supplied by Bookshop Europa in Calpe (Oscar Espla 2). Read morePublished 21 months ago by Brody Rafter
after a drab start this turned into a good read. I thought the afterword was far too lovey.Published 22 months ago by C. aldridge
Very good book. Enjoyed reading it. Must find more like it.Published 22 months ago by Mrs Joy Gosling
This is an excellent well researched book. Love the detail and Caitlin Davies is such a passionate writer who really makes you feel connected to all the characters. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Goldeneye512
I didn't know about 'baby farming' and was appalled to read about the events in this book. A terrible story but brilliantly written.Published on 26 Jun. 2014 by Doreen