Between Scotland and Botany Bay, two incarcerated young women—a century apart—are united by crime—in this “brilliant” novel from the award-winning author (Nick Hornby).
Jennifer Maybee is in solitary confinement, imprisoned for an undisclosed crime. Deprived of companionship and driven desperate by grim routine, she has only “memory and imagination” for escape. But she isn’t the first in her family to be convicted of a crime. Ever since she was a young girl, Jennifer has been fascinated with stories about her cousin Peggy. A century before, Peggy was a desperate young mother, tried, convicted, and deported to the penal colony of Botany Bay, in Australia. All for the theft of a peacock. Just imagine the degradation she suffered to possess a thing of beauty. Jennifer does.
Jennifer remembers what she herself longed to possess, too. He was a jazz musician, thirty years her senior, whom she met one Christmas in Scotland—and whose fleeting attention sparked in her an obsessive, unyielding, and dangerous passion. Now, as Jennifer and Peggy’s parallel lives unfold, love stories are woven from squalid obsessions, memories collide with the truth, and Jennifer’s long-held secrets will be revealed as she struggles with her fate, and the storied one of a woman long lost to history.
In Lesley Glaister’s “enormously enjoyable”(Nick Hornby), Digging to Australia, Jennifer Maybee was first introduced as a girl “frighteningly adroit at inflicting pain on those close to her”(Los Angeles Times). The consequences arise in Partial Eclipse, where “everyone seems to be set on self-destruct, blindly chasing after the wrong dream or man or peacock” (The Independent).