Gillespie and I

Wow! 2012 has started out with quite a bang, book-wise that is! Almost every title I’ve picked up to read has been as good or better than the last. I seem to be giving out 4 and 5 star ratings left and right on Goodreads!

I’ve just finished another 5 star book, Gillespie and I, written by award-winning author Jane Harris. The title refers to the memoir that the main character, Harriet Baxter, is writing about her time spent with Ned Gillespie in 1880’s Glasgow, Scotland. Harriet is now an elderly woman living in London, with a paid companion and two birds ~~ a lonely existence and one conducive to self-reflection.

Harriet’s reminiscences begin with her chance encounter with the Gillespie family in Glasgow in 1888 during the International Exhibition. Under unusual circumstances, Harriet ingratiated herself with the entire Gillespie clan and soon is spending a great deal of time with Ned, an up and coming painter, whose work Harriet has admired at both the Exhibition and previously at an art gallery in London, his wife Annie and their two children, Sybil and Rose. Oh, and I mustn’t forget Ned’s god fearing mother, Elspeth.

As the reader delves deeper into Harriet’s memoirs, and we learn more about the friendship between Harriet and the Gillespies’, it slowly becomes apparent that things aren’t quite as hunky-dory as our sweet Harriet would lead us to believe.

This is an extremely readable novel, with a wonderful main character.  I could not put this book down and stayed up much too late every evening to read “just a little bit more”.

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