Joan Aiken

22 February 2022
304 pages


Two very different, but physically identical, young ladies meet at a boarding school once attended by Jane Austen. Joan Aiken's engrossing regency novel is perfect for fans of the major Netflix romantic drama series, Bridgerton.

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 indispensable member of her extraordinary new family, how will they view the return of the more quarrelsome Louisa?

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

'Joan Aiken's invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come.' - Philip Pullman

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