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REVIEW | ‘A reminder of intimately cruel histories’ – Lowra and Celestine, locked in the attic

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The Attic Child by Lola Jaye (Pan MacMillan)
The Attic Child by Lola Jaye (Pan MacMillan)

Book: The Attic Child by Lola Jaye (Pan MacMillan)

Lowra Cavendish is a 30-year-old woman who has a past that she does not wish to revisit. When she was a little girl of six years, her idyllic life was violently changed when her mother died. Her tutor Nina took care of her with very little kindness and married Lowra's father when Lowra was 11. Things went from bad to worse when he died on their honeymoon and the transition from being beloved and doted-upon, to living in the attic of their well-established home was complete. 

The house formerly belonged to Sir Richard Babbington, a late-19th/early 20th-century British explorer. His adventures had begun in earnest after the death of his young wife and their infant daughter, Celeste. Perhaps grief drove him to go gallivanting in wildest Africa, collecting trinkets and tokens of his exploration. It certainly was a misguided belief that he could find renewed meaning in the "civilising mission" that many of his contemporaries believed was their duty. 

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