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The Fascination by Essie Fox

Historical fiction with a magical twist? Yes please. This was another Goldsboro membership book and I could not put it down. Described as 'Victorian England. A world of rural fairgrounds and glamorous London theatres. A world of dark secrets and deadly obsessions…' Fans of The Weather Woman by Sally Gardner and Once Upon a River By Diane Setterfield will adore it. Wonderful setting and a Dickensian cast of characters to love and loathe.




From the back


Twin sisters Keziah and Tilly Lovell are identical in every way, except that Tilly hasn't grown a single inch since she was five. Coerced into promoting their father's quack elixir as they tour the country fairgrounds, at the age of fifteen the girls are sold to a mysterious Italian known as ‘Captain’.


Theo is an orphan, raised by his grandfather, Lord Seabrook, a man who has a dark interest in anatomical freaks and other curiosities … particularly the human kind. Resenting his grandson for his mother’s death in childbirth, when Seabrook remarries and a new heir is produced, Theo is forced to leave home without a penny to his name.


Theo finds employment in Dr Summerwell’s Museum of Anatomy in London, and here he meets Captain and his theatrical ‘family’ of performers, freaks and outcasts.


But it is Theo’s fascination with Tilly and Keziah that will lead all of them into a web of deceits, exposing the darkest secrets and threatening everything they know…


Exploring universal themes of love and loss, the power of redemption and what it means to be unique, The Fascination is an evocative, glittering and bewitching gothic novel that brings alive Victorian London – and darkness and deception that lies beneath…


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