A recluse, a sketchy husband, servants with secrets, hidden doors…sign me up!
Martha’s sassy behavior gets her booted out of Catholic school and into a job at her mother’s workplace. Once the suds settle from all the pans she has to wash, though, Martha starts noticing things that don’t fit together. Is there something nefarious going on? Is the mistress of the mansion going crazy? Or is something making her crazy? Martha’s vivid imagination begins to work away, generating all kinds of possibilities.
With its blend of art, mystery, privilege, and power, The Gallery is sort of like a fun mix of Chasing Vermeer and Downton Abbey. The author’s note at the end helps explain some of the crazier historical inspirations for the story – anarchist plots, poisonings, wild stock market speculation, and anti-immigrant policies. It’s a quick read, but don’t read it too quickly or you’ll miss all of the great references to paintings, literature and history. And if you missed Fitzgerald’s Under the Egg, go back and find it, too. Fun, fun, fun.
The Gallery, Laura Marx Fitzgerald