Thistledown Press, Sep 28 2008, $15.95
In 1888, sixteen years old Scottish farm hand Jeannie Guthrie fears her “gift”. She believes she has good reason to do so because she thinks she used her talent to accidentally kill her wastrel cousin George who was pestering her constantly for a kiss since the dance. If anyone finds out Jeannie knows she will be burned at the stake as a witch; just like George vehemently called her as he was bleeding from the pitchfork wound she gave him.
Thus without a look back, the teen flees to London where she assumes she can hide amidst the masses. In town Jeannie and daring Alexandra David meet and the latter takes the former to the salon of renowned Madame Helena Blavatsky. There Jeannie hopes to learn more about her power especially controlling it when she is angry or threatened.
This late Victorian historical is a vivid exciting tale that takes readers into a strange dominion filled with artists, spiritualists and ethnologists; the irony is that this weird world is London and Paris (as well as the land Beyond). Jeannie is terific as a rustic innocent who under the guide of her urbane friend turns from scared country bumpkin to still frightened sophisticate. Based on the real 1888 London journal of Alexandra who mentions a jeune fille, Eileen Kernaghan provides her bewitched fans with a great late nineteenth century tale.