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By Helen Dunmore

The inaugural winner of England's prestigious Orange Prize, A Spell of iciness is a compelling turn-of-the-century story of innocence corrupted through secrecy, and the grace of moment possibilities. Cathy and her brother, Rob, have solid a passionate safe haven opposed to the phobia of loneliness and relatives secrets and techniques, yet their sibling love turns into fraught with probability. As Catherine fights freed from her darkish current and haunting earlier, the spell of wintry weather that has held her in its clutch starts off to damage. "Dunmore touches every little thing: dermis, bone, frozen earth." -- la instances ebook evaluate "[A] literary page-turner." -- Publishers Weekly (starred assessment) "[A] sleek Gothic." -- Library Journal

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But there was no sound except a humming deep in the house, like the hum of a furnace. ‘I know the way, I’ve been here before,’ said Miss Gallagher proudly. Rob looked at her, but he would not ask her when. Miss Gallagher had no right to have seen our father before we did. She had been here before, talking to our father, carrying back stories of him which we had not been told. Rob was angry. ‘Don’t be frightened, Catherine,’ said Miss Gallagher. I had not been frightened before, but now I began to be.

Boomed Dr Kenneth. ’ He turned and the maid came over to us as if she was being pulled on elastic which Dr Kenneth held in a secret pocket. ‘Milk,’ said Dr Kenneth. ‘One glass mid-morning. One glass before luncheon. One glass at teatime. ’ He ticked the glasses off on his fingers until there was only his thumb left. ‘Yes, sir,’ bobbed the maid. ‘Fetch it now, girl, fetch it now. No time like the present,’ said Dr Kenneth, and he watched the maid scuttle towards the house. His big meaty face turned on Father.

Father reached out and stroked back my rough, heavy hair from my forehead. ‘Catherine,’ he said, smiling. I smiled back, but in a moment his smile broke up into flecks and disappeared. His hand still lay heavy on my head, as if he didn’t know it was there. I looked at Rob, but he went on eating his cake right up to the icing, keeping the icing till last. Miss Gallagher poured out the tea noisily, clinking the cups and tutting into the hot-water jug. Father kept stroking my hair, not looking at me, as if I were someone else.

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