A Proper Education for Girls
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Set in 1857 between England and India, "A Proper Education for Girls" is a rollicking novel about feisty women, the devotion of sisters and the Victorian obsession with empire, experiments and photography. The peach growers of the title are 27 year-old twin sisters with a passion for botany. Lilian, in mysterious disgrace, has been married off to a dreary missionary. Alice is left at home, curator to her father's monstrous collection of artifacts under the watchful eye of the malevolent Dr Cattermole. "A Proper Education for Girls" is a dazzling debut. Tongue-in-cheek and inventive, comic and horrifying, it illuminates the dark heart of Victorian hypocrisy and selfishness, yet at the same time is engaging and highly enjoyable. Readers will become completely involved with Alice and Lilian - and their hair-raising escapades.