'What was she? Not a child, for she was seventeen, and taller than Kitty: not a girl, for she floated like a feather, and flew into trees like a bird; not a spirit - she was human to touch. But to-night she was all made of mischief and magic, remote form him, and yet calling him to here . . .'
At thirty-two, her mother dead, Agatha Bodenham finds herself quite alone. She summons back to life the only friend she ever knew, Clarissa, the dream companion of her childhood. At first Clarissa comes by night, and then by day, gathering substance in the warmth of Agatha's obsessive love until it seems that others too can see her. See, but not touch, for Agatha has made her love child for herself alone. No man may approach her elfin creation of perfect beauty. If he does, the love which summoned her can spirit her away . . .
The Love Child (1927) was Edith Olivier's first novel, acknowledged as a minor masterpiece: a perfectly imagined fable and a moving and perceptive portrayal of unfulfilled maternal love.