When Constance, a lowly clerk in a London stationery, married Joseph Barton, a biological researcher, she believed she had found her ultimate husband and protector. But after three miscarriages and the troubled birth of their daughter, Angelica, Constance fears for her life inside her own home.
She tries to avoid having sex with her husband and keeps Angelica sleeping in their bedroom. When Joseph orders their daughter out of the room, Constance begins to fear his intentions, his possible murderous hatred of her, and his efforts to alienate her from Angelica. Sensing the presence of supernatural evil in the house, she calls upon a spiritualist to combat the threats she sees to her life and child, and becomes distraught as her domestic life deteriorates into disorder and perceived danger. But is Constance right?
In four sections, each taking a different character’s point of view, Angelica proceeds to weave a tapestry of parallel and sometimes conflicting interpretations of the lives of Constance, Anne Montague—the spiritualist in whom Constance places her deepest trust—Joseph, and, finally, Angelica. Nothing here is as it seems, but everything fits together beautifully and is vastly entertaining.
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