Charlotte has always known she is different. Where other young women see their destiny in marriage and motherhood, the reclusive Charlotte wants only to work with her father in his stationery business; perhaps even run it herself one day. Then Flora Dalton bursts through the shop door and into Charlotte's life--and a new world of baffling desires and possibilities seems to open up to her.
But Melbourne society of the 1890s is not built to embrace unorthodoxy. When tragedy strikes and Charlotte is unmoored by grief, she finds herself admitted to Kew Lunatic Asylum 'for her own safety'.
There she learns that women enter the big white house on the hill for many reasons, not all of them to do with lunacy. That her capacity for love, loyalty and friendship is greater than she had ever understood. And that it will take all of these things--along with an unexpected talent for guile--to extract herself from the care of men and make her way back to her heart's desires.
A compulsively readable historical romance, House of Longingcombines an effortless instinct for narrative with impeccable research, lightly worn. House of Longingis the debut of a major talent.
Tara Calabylives in Gippsland with her wife and far too many books. She is currently a PhD candidate at La Trobe University, researching the social worlds of women in Victorian lunatic asylums. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, attempting to learn Danish, and patting other people's dogs. House of Longingis her debut novel.