Sunday, 7 September 2008

Book of the Week - Poppy Adams, The Behaviour of Moths

Nothing new has particularly caught my eye this week, so I thought I would highlight a book from earlier in the year which I am now reading. The Behaviour of Moths is a first novel by Poppy Adams, a documentary filmmaker with a Natural Science degree who has made films for the BBC, Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel. She has three children and lives with her husband in London. The book is clearly informed by a close knowledge of moths, and has a Victorian Gothic mood. It was published in the US under the alternative title of The Sister. Signed first editions are still available at cover price.

From her lookout on the first floor, Ginny watches and waits for her adored younger sister to return to the crumbling mansion that was once their idyllic childhood home. Vivien has not stepped foot in the house since she left, forty seven years ago; Ginny, the reclusive lepidopterist, has rarely ventured outside it. The remembrance of their youth, of loss, and of old rivalries plays across Ginny's mind. Why is Vivi coming home? Ginny has been selling off the family furniture over the years, gradually shutting off each wing of the house and retreating into the precise routines and isolation that define her days. Only the attic remains untouched. There, collected over several generations, are walls lined with pinned and preserved Bordered Beauties and Rusty Waves, Feathered Footmen and Great Brocades, Purple Cloud, Angle Shades, the Gothic and the Stranger ...

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