By Ronald Frame
(Picador USA, Hardcover, 9781250037275, 357pp.)
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
List Price: $26.00*
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"HAVISHAM" IS THE ASTONISHING PRELUDE TO CHARLES DICKENS'S "GREAT EXPECTATIONS."
Before she became the immortal and haunting Miss Havisham of "Great Expectations," she was Catherine, a young woman with all of her dreams ahead of her. Spry, imperious, she is the daughter of a wealthy brewer. But she is never far from the smell of hops and the arresting letters on the brewhouse wall--HAVISHAM--a reminder of all she owes to the family name and the family business.
Sent by her father to stay with the Chadwycks, Catherine discovers elegant pastimes to remove the taint of her family's new money. But for all her growing sophistication, Catherine is anything but worldly, and when a charismatic stranger pays her attention, everything--her heart, her future, the very Havisham name--is vulnerable.
In "Havisham," Ronald Frame unfurls the psychological trauma that made young Catherine into Miss Havisham and cursed her to a life alone, roaming the halls of the mansion in the tatters of the dress she wore for the wedding she was never to have.
A "Kirkus Reviews "Best Fiction Book of 2013.
Miss Havisham is one of Charles Dickens' most enduring characters. She appears in Great Expectations as an eccentric recluse, jilted at the altar years ago, who still wears her wedding gown and presides over a rotting feast. In his new novel, Ronald Frame imagines the kind of life that would have created such a woman. More at NPR.org
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