In Havisham, Ronald Frame has taken inspiration from the Charles Dickens’s classic novel Great Expectations and has recreated the supposed life of the ill fated spinster Catherine Havisham. There has always been much speculation into the mystery of Satis House and the portrayal of Miss Havisham left in her decaying mansion surrounded by the ghost of her wedding paraphernalia presents an iconic image of English literature.
Catherine Havisham is such a fascinating character that any story that can shed light on her troubled personality is one to be embraced with great interest. Overall, I think that the author has done an admirable job in fleshing out her character and whilst there are no great surprises to found within the story, it does make for an interesting and enjoyable read. I thought that the story starts off rather slowly and needs to be read with great care and attention and then once Catherine grows up the story really starts to become a fascinating account of a life mismanaged by tragedy.
The Dickens purists may not agree that Miss Havisham’s story deserves to be told by anyone other than the great man himself, but as an enjoyable addition to the sub Dickens genre, Havisham works well.
My thanks to NetGalley and Faber and Faber for a copy of the book to read and review.