Synopses & Reviews
In this stunning debut, Betsy Tobin spins a classic tale of gothic suspense. Immersing readers in Elizabethan England, she masterfully evokes a heady place where science and superstition walk hand-in-hand and sensuality and violence are masked by the merest veneer of gentility.
...some people are the center of their world, and others are the spokes.
The center of one village was Dora, the great-bellied prostitute whose lush curves gave solace to men even as her compassion and honesty drew the company of women. So when Dora is found dead in an icy ravine, her loss impacts everyone. So, too, does it torment a young chambermaid at the Great House. Determined to discover the truth, she ?nds that Dora left behind many unanswered questions, along with a huge, slow-witted son, a boy of eleven trapped in a man's body. The deeper she digs, the more the mystery of Dora's life is revealed, until a terrible secret is laid bare.
Tracy Chevalier author of Girl with a Pearl Earring Wonderful! Betsy Tobin has skillfully portrayed life in a seventeenth-century English village as well as written a compelling mystery. The maid's voice is deceptively clear, the plot subtly twisty-turny, and the results poignant and gripping.
Robin Maxwell author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn and The Queen's Bastard Betsy Tobin draws us deeply into the seldom illuminated world of the Elizabethan underclasses. Her characters who, in other novels, are generally rendered in broad strokes -- the prostitute, the midwife, the lady's maid, the village idiot -- are here painted in vivid hue and detail. She has captured not only the language but the harsh reality experienced by the majority of England's population. A seventeenth-century Upstairs, Downstairs.
Margot Livesey author of The Missing World and Criminals From the opening pages of Bone House, I found myself utterly engrossed. How deftly Betsy Tobin transports us to the seventeenth century and how lucidly she spins her complex tale of obsession and superstition. This is a beautiful and suspenseful novel.
The New York Times A gripping narrative?shimmering with psychological depth.
Los Angeles Times A surprisingly delicate murder mystery, tempered by great detail and remarkable control.
About the Author
Betsy Tobin was born in Ohio and emigrated to England in 1989. A journalist, playwright, and prize-winning short-story writer, she lives in London with her husband and four children. Bone House is her first novel.