This novel was short-listed for the Booker Prize. Hermione Lee
praised it in the Observer for presenting the inter-relationship between family and national history, while Robert Nye
in the Guardian called it one of the...
In the Times Literary Supplement, Patricia Craig
voiced the opinion that feminists might be disappointed with this exceptionally polished work, since the values which the heroine lives by are no part of a feminist...
missed the customary more intricate plot, yet maintained that Rendell had lost nothing of her flair for suspenseful story-telling.
Craig, Patricia. “Criminal proceedings”. Times Literary Supplement, No. 4577, p. 1382.
, reviewing for the Times Literary Supplement, judged that this novel was beautifully composed (like two of its Barbara Vine predecessors but unlike House of Stairs, which she thought disfigured by...
The title story was a contender for the Miles Franklin
prize in the year that the volume was published.
but later, judging a bunch of books for the under-eights, she felt that...
in the New Statesman identified the novel's theme as illusions produced by men in the interests of power and praised its telling as by turns inspiriting, illuminating and attractively strange.
“Contemporary Authors”. Gale Databases: Literature Resource Centre-LRC.