A lower priced version of this book is available
Save £2.21 (17%) by choosing the Kindle Edition.
Kindle price
Hardcover price

Save <span class="a-color-price">£2.21 (17%)</span> by choosing the Kindle Edition. Read now with the free Kindle app
Available on iOS, Android, Mac & PC.
  • RRP: £12.99
  • You Save: £5.75 (44%)
FREE UK Delivery on book orders dispatched by Amazon over £10.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
The Observations has been added to your Basket
+ £1.80 delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by musicMagpie
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Buy with confidence from a huge UK seller, all items despatched next day directly from the UK. All items are quality guaranteed.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Observations Hardcover – 6 Apr 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

See all 19 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
£3.49 £0.01
Audio Download, Unabridged
Audio CD
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more

Great Discounts
Shop the Books Outlet. Discover some great deals on top titles. Shop now
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (6 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571223354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571223350
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 787,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
    If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description


Harris's voice is an original one, and her rollicking yet delicate narrative pitch sets the book apart... This is a true one-off. (Joanna Briscoe Guardian)

The Observations, which is set in 1863, has all the necessary ingredients for a Rebecca-like absorption. There are enough twists and turns to keep a cynical adult reader up half the night. (Eleanor Byrne London Review of Books)

Bessy Buckley can hold her head up with Moll Flanders and Becky Sharp as a living, breathing mortal. What takes one away is [her] earthy voice, clear as a bell, ringing out her tale of love, loss and redemption. (Sarah Burton The Times)

Funny and original. What lifts the book out of the ordinary is Bessy's compelling narrative voice. (Peter Parker Sunday Times)

Bessy's robust narrative is by turns intriguing, alarming and very funny. The Observations adds up to entertainment of a high order. (Patricia Craig Independent)

Throughout 400 pages of mystery and intrigue, it is not the flawless plot that leaves the reader rapt but instead, Bessy's comic observations. (Daily Express)

A page-turning narrative. (Daily Mail)

The Observations is an astonishing imaginative feat, brilliantly written in bravura, bawdy style. Harris's richly comic, deeply touching novel is destined to be one of the publishing sensations of the year. (Jackie McGlone Scotland on Sunday)

This intriguing, ghostly read will have you hooked from page one. Fantastic. (Company Magazine)


So there I was with two pens, my two titties, Charles Dickens, two slice of bread and a blank book at the end of my first day in the middle of nowhere. Except as it turned out it wasn't quite the end ...Scotland, 1863. In an attempt to escape her not-so-innocent past in Glasgow, Bessy Buckley - the wide-eyed Irish heroine of "The Observations" - takes a job as a maid in a big house outside Edinburgh working for the beautiful Arabella. Bessy is intrigued by her new employer, but puzzled by her increasingly strange requests and her insistence that Bessy keep a journal of her most intimate thoughts. And it seems that Arabella has a few secrets of her own - including her near-obsessive affection for Nora, a former maid who died in mysterious circumstances. Then, a childish prank has drastic consequences, which throw into jeopardy all that Bessy has come to hold dear. Caught up in a tangle of madness, ghosts, sex and lies, she remains devoted to Arabella. But who is really responsible for what happened to her predecessor Nora? As her past threatens to catch up with her and complicate matters even further, Bessy begins to realise that she has not quite landed on her feet.

See all Product description

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

31 July 2014
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
26 April 2012
Verified Purchase
9 people found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
2 October 2012
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
22 January 2017
Verified Purchase

Would you like to see more reviews about this item?

Most recent customer reviews

Where's My Stuff?

Delivery and Returns

Need Help?