Gillespie And I – Jane Harris

Gillespie and I by Jane Harris

Gillespie and I
Jane Harris
Faber and Faber

Harriet Baxter is an independently wealthy spinster, living in a time when to be such a thing is not considered appropriate or normal. As she is nearing the end of her life, Harriet is writing her memoires of her friendship with little-known Glaswegian artist, Ned Gillespie and the terrible events that befall his family.

It is an intriguing story which pulls the reader along at a slow amble; Harriet interludes her memories of events with her current predicament living in London. This wonderful use of first person narrative is a little stilted at first but perfectly captures the voice of the unmarried, lonely woman who busies herself with the lives of others. Selfless acts, of which the readers are reminded, are not without personal gain.

The slow build, while difficult to feel a connection with at first, proves to be a useful tool to drag the reader in as it picks up a deafening pace in the final third of the narrative. Throughout which you have a sense that this is one perspective which is most definitely one-sided and often at odds with that of others.

Gillespie and I is finely and cleverly written; there is a full depth of character to Harriet Baxter andit  twists through the reader’s loyalty and emotions as the story develops.


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