Posted: Fri November 2nd, 2012, 1:08 pm
Havisham by Ronald Frame, published 1 November 2012
There was a delicate tracery of gold foil on the back of the dress. How strange that such a consummately made garment should be worn for this one day only. But, as every girl growing up understood, her wedding day was the most significant she would know: a woman's crowning glory.
Catherine Havisham was born into privilege. Handsome, imperious, she is the daughter of a wealthy brewer, and lives in luxury in Satis House. 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 literature, music and masquerades - elegant pastimes to remove the taint of 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.
It is a masterly tribute to one of Dickens's most celebrated and iconic characters