A massive, complex story about a literary mystery which turns into an emotional voyage of discovery. The novel is a critique of Victorian poetry, an unbearably moving love story and a satire on the modern "Biography Industry". It is also about rivalry and obsession, and the nature of possession - the lover by the beloved, the biographer by his subject.
"It is the mixture of ideas, cunning, fairy tales, humour - the clever way she interweaves natural history, romance, poems, porches, table tapping and even, I think, rapunzel; and it is also so funny, in two centuries, at once! I believe it's the best thing she has done. Christabel and Ash, Roland and Maud come off the page bewitchingly" - Christopher Hope