About the book
As she sits in her Bloomsbury home, with her two birds for company, elderly Harriet Baxter sets out to relate the story of her acquaintance, nearly four decades previously, with Ned Gillespie, a talented artist who never achieved the fame she maintains he deserved. Back in 1888, the young, art-loving Harriet arrives in Glasgow at the time of the International Exhibition. After a chance encounter she befriends the Gillespie family and soon becomes a fixture in all of their lives. But when tragedy strikes – leading to a notorious criminal trial – the promise and certainties of this world all too rapidly disintegrate into mystery and deception…
Reviewed by Waterlooville Reading Group:
Don’t be put off by the length of ‘Gillespie & I’ as, once you’re hooked into the lives of the narrator Harriet Baxter, the artist Nat Gillespie and his ill-fated family, you won’t want to put this book down. Set mainly at the time of the Glasgow Exhibition in 1888, this is a clever, impressive and sometimes humorous novel; intricately plotted and open to different interpretations. Reading Jane Harris’ 2nd novel certainly led to some lively discussion at our reading group meeting and if we had been the jury at the integral court case, there would not have been a unanimous verdict.
Rating: 5 Stars