I really wanted to read this book after I came across the blurb, and the reality certainly didn't disappoint. The narrative is shared by two young women in Victorian England, Dorothea, a wealthy heiress, and Ruth, a seamstress imprisoned for the murder of the mistress. Dorothea has an interest in phrenology, the study of peoples skulls to see if they have a propensity for murder among other things, and when she comes across Ruth during a charitable visit to the local gaol, she can't help but try to read her skull. As the two women become closer over the course of Dorothea's visits, Ruth's story unveils, her shattered childhood, her abuse from her employers, and the fact that she seems to be able to control peoples fates through the clothes she makes for them. I was captivated by this book, it's a breath of fresh air with it's original plot straying from that of most Victorian Gothic novels. The first half did tend to get a bit bogged down in the narrative, but it does set the scene up nicely for the rest of the book. A first class read for lovers of historical mysteries and gothic tales.