Baker & Taylor Keeping a journal to record the increasingly unusual duties requested of her by her beautiful mistress, nineteenth-century Edinburgh scullery maid Bessy wonders about her mistress's secret relationship with a dead former maid and is tempted to risk everything she cares about. 30,000 first printing.
Blackwell North Amer Scotland, 1863. In an attempt to escape her not-so-innocent past in Glasgow, Bessy Buckley - the wide-eyed and sharp-tongued Irish heroine of The Observations - takes a job as a maid in a once-grand country house outside Edinburgh working for the beautiful Arabella - the "missus." A city girl accustomed to other ways of making a living, Bessy lacks the necessary scullery skills for her new position, but as she finds out, it is her ability to read and write that makes her such a desirable hire. Bessy is intrigued by her new employer but puzzled by her increasingly strange requests and her insistence that Bessy keep a journal of her most intimate thoughts. And it seems that the missus has a few secrets of her own. Nevertheless, Bessy is committed to starting a new life and devotes herself to her post, and to the missus. Despite their insurmountable differences in class and comportment, Bessy and Arabella develop an affinity for each other, one that soon becomes tinged with dependence and mutual suspicion. As is usually the case in isolated Victorian houses, all is not as it seems. Curious to a fault, Bessy soon makes a troubling discovery about the missus and the maids who have come before her. And when a childish prank enacted out of revenge spins out of control, Bessy realizes she's fled one difficult past only to arrive in an even more disturbing present.
Baker & Taylor Keeping a journal to record the increasingly unusual duties requested of her by her beautiful mistress, nineteenth-century Edinburgh scullery maid Bessy wonders about her mistress's secret relationship with a former maid.