Michael Cox, The Glass of Time

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John Murray, 2008. 1st edition. Paperback. The independant sequel to The Meaning of Night.

1876. Nineteen-year-old orphan Esperanza Gorst arrives at the great country house of Evenwood to be interviewed for the position of ladys-maid by the 26th Baroness Tansor, the former Miss Emily Carteret.

But Esperanza is no ordinary servant. She has been sent by her guardian, the mysterious Madame de lOrme, to uncover the dark and dangerous secrets that her new mistress has sought to conceal, and to set right a past injustice in which Esperanzas own closest interests are bound up.

Gradually those secrets are revealed, and with them the truth of who Esperanza really is, forcing agonizing obligations on her, and enmeshing her in a complicated web of intrigue, deceit, and murder that culminates in betrayal by those she trusted most.

A sequel to the widely praised The Meaning of Night, The Glass of Time is both a page-turning period mystery and a gripping study of identity, the nature of secrets, and what can happen when past obsessions impose themselves on an unwilling present.*