Joan Aiken

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19 April 2018
0 pages

Two very different – yet physically identical – young ladies meet at a boarding school once attended by Jane Austen in Joan Aiken’s engrossing historical novel, Deception.

Self-righteous Louisa wants to escape her grand family life in Northumberland and become a missionary in India. Imaginative and quiet Alvey has no family and only longs for peaceful independence to complete her novel.

So when Louisa suggests swapping identities it seems like the perfect plan: Alvey will have a peaceful country manor in which to write her book and Louisa will be free to voyage across the globe. But when Alvey becomes a beloved and indispensible member of her extraordinary new family, how will they view the return of the horrible Louisa?

Joan Aiken weaves a complicated plot of deception and identity, peopled with strong female characters, in this unique historical romance.

A winner. The narrative is crisp, the characterisation revealing, the ending quite modern in its ambiguity

The Lady

Deception will delight readers with its lively lucidity and inventive wit. When two identical schoolgirls decide to swap identities, the adventures resulting from this are described in an Austenesque style which equals that other doyenne of the genre, Georgette Heyer

Amanda Craig - Sunday Express

Joan Aiken’s Deception is charming and convincing . . . the detail of daily life and the interweaving of characters are fascinating and the whole as witty as befits a master pasticheur of Jane Austen

Marina Vaizey - Country Life