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The Mesmerist


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* Author PR activity to include media interviews and events * Review coverage * Submitted for trade promotions * Reading copies available

About the Author

Barbara Ewing is a New Zealand-born actress and author who lives in London. She has a university degree in English and Maori and won the Bancroft Gold Medal at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


In early 19th-century London two out-of-work actresses (which is only one step up from prostitution) take up phreno-mesmerism as a way out of poverty. Our heroines are the beautiful Cordelia Preston and her best friend Amaryllis Spoons, both of whom have tragic pasts they would rather forget. It turns out Cordelia may actually have a talent for mesmerism and soon they are enjoying much success and (most importantly for single ladies over a certain age) financial security. But the past, as it has a habit of doing, comes back to threaten their security as well as their lives. This is an enjoyable and unchallenging historical novel from the author of The Trespass and Rosetta. The characters are well developed and the plot moves along fairly briskly to a satisfying and cliché-free conclusion. I particularly enjoyed the Gothic touches Ewing introduces to bring an element of menace to the story. An easy and enjoyable read for fans of historical fiction. Mahina Drew is an Events Coordinator at the State Library of Victoria

'Mesmerically gripping' - Sainsbury's Magazine 'The enormous spirit of the characters and overriding sense of fun gives this book warmth and appeal' - Waterstone's Books Quarterly 'Written with insight, intelligence and style, a highly engaging and entertaining read with a complex plot and a cast of utterly believable characters' - Sydney Morning Herald 'A good-humoured saga' - Sun Herald

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