- Viking Penguin
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Meet the Author
Barbara Vine is the pen-name of Ruth Rendell. She has written fourteen novels using this pseudonym, including A Fatal Inversion and King Solomon's Carpet which both won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award. Ruth Rendell sits in the House of Lords as a Labour peer. She lives in Maida Vale, London.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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You could say that I would HAVE to like this book. It's Ruth Rendell. It takes place in the UK. It starts in the Edwardian period, a historical setting I just love. And many of the characters are from Denmark. (I had a Swedish great-grandmother, so Scandinavian countries interest me.) The main character, Asta, puts the lie to the idea that all people (especially women) in the olden days were nice, sweet, submitted willingly to their husbands, and wanted lots of children. Asta was pretty cool - in her diary, she admits that she didn't want to have so many kids, and her husband wasn't her choice. Asta is smart and thinks for herself. She isn't always a nice person - she plays a cruel trick on the child who is supposedly her favorite. But other than that, I like her. I also like the narrator, Ann; and kudos to Rendell for having a character in her late 40s/early 50s who has a serious romance leading to a first marriage. The story also has 2 female friends who have a falling out over a man, then later reconcile - having figured out that they like each other better than either one of them liked him. All in all, very good story.
The reader is drawn ever more deeply into an obcession to find the genesis of Swanny. Threaded through the quest is a decades old murder case. Top notch writing. Germaine