- Pub. Date:
This startlingly original novel tells the compelling life story of Mary Jane Kelly, the last victim of one of Britain’s most infamous serial killers, Jack the Ripper, and the story of a Welsh veterinary surgeon, who, on discovering her mother’s dementia, sets out to preserve her family history, only to find that Mary Jane is her unexpected three-times great grandmother. The anecdotes and fragments of Mary Jane’s intriguing life are brought together to tell of her early life in Wales, her short marriage to a coal miner, her brief relationship with the Princess of Wales, and her life in upper-class London, before her fateful move to the East End. But as her story is recreated, the life of her descendant, increasingly haunted by Mary Jane, begins to fall apart as she finds herself caught up not only in Mary Jane’s tragic life but the secretive lives around her. The impact of her mother’s illness, of the events in which she becomes embroiled and of Mary Jane herself are thrillingly and movingly traced. In a narrative of unexpected twists and turns and shocking revelations, while she has been searching for Mary Jane, all the time Mary Jane has been searching for her.