Elizabeth Brookbank

The Friend by Elizabeth Brookbank

My novel is titled The Friend and is about Pansy, the free-spirited daughter of an Irish revolutionary and a washer woman, and Livvy (short for Olivia), the prim and proper daughter of an English gentleman: two young women from very different backgrounds living in nineteenth century England who fall in love with each other. In a world that views their love as unspeakable and unnatural, Pansy and Livvy want nothing more than to be together. They are able to hide for a while  behind the thin veneer of social acceptability provided by the fashion of the time for “romantic friendships” between women. Eventually though, things start to go wrong. Livvy’s parents insist she marry the eldest son of the scheming and social-climbing Mr. John Archibald – not only to get Livvy clear of Pansy, but to shore up the family’s finances and its hold on their historic estate. Forced into a corner by Livvy’s impending nuptials and increasing suspicions about the true nature of their relationship, Pansy and Livvy decide to run away together – to elope to America to start a new life. The night they set for their escape arrives, but Livvy never makes it to the ship they planned to take to freedom. In the wake of her disappearance, Pansy is arrested and charged with her murder…

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