Confinement Hardcover – 2 March 1998
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0002256320
- ISBN-13 : 978-0002256322
- Publisher : Flamingo (2 March 1998)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
From the reviews of Footsteps:
‘Footsteps is put together with intelligence and feeling, a grasp of narrative pace and an empathy for the weather-buffeted Suffolk coast. She succeeds in suggesting the complexity, waywardness and inexplicable patches that constitute life. A good read.’
Elizabeth Buchan, The Times
‘Irreducibly delicate and tough-minded, I strongly suggest you read it and that someone gets a television script out of it.’
From the Back Cover
In the spring of 1849, the bright and headstrong Bess Hardemon arrives at Priors Heath School for the Daughters of the Clergy to take up a post as schoolmistress. Under the austere gaze of the founder, the Reverend Carnegie, the underfed and unstimulated girls of Priors Heath, barely survive the stiflingly archaic regime. Their education stretches no further than piano playing and a little light sewing.
Determined to make a difference, Bess works hard against fierce opposition to change the girls’ lives and to introduce the new ideas about women’s education. Eventually she becomes headmistress of Priors Heath, a school transformed by years of duty and passionate dedication – but at what price? As Bess stands by her and watches her pupils flourish under her guidance, find love and fulfilment as they enter adulthood, she begins to realise that perhaps her sacrifice has been too great …
Bess’s entrapment is echoed a century later by Sarah, a teacher at modern-day Priors Heath, who must make her own choice between the need to ‘make a difference’ and the duty to save her broken marriage. The present, like the past, is shaped by cruel dilemmas, but for Sarah the possibility of happiness is within her grasp if only she can find the courage …
Praise for Katharine McMahon
'A Way Through The Woods'
“The characterisation is careful, the writing is crisp. Strongly elegiac, here is the English bourgeoisie under the microscope.”
JOHN NICHOLSON, 'The Times'
“Rich with the sounds and scents of long-ago English summers, this could easily be a study in nostalgia, but it is more than that. McMahon has pushed aside the honeysuckle and the gossamer dresses to examine middle-class family life and attitudes in an era when women, for the first time, were being offered changes and challenges. Her perceptions of the risks and pitfalls of freedom shine through the book’s old-world charm.”
“This lovingly-crafted novel of domestic drama and emotion offers satisfying rewards. Put together with intelligence and feeling, a grasp of narrative pace and an empathy for the weather-buffeted. Suffolk coast where it is set. Appealingly fresh, she succeeds in suggesting the complexity, waywardness and inexplicable patches that constitute life.”
ELIZABETH BUCHAN, 'The Times'
“Irreducibly delicate and tough-minded.”
BRIAN MORTON, 'TES'