Lilian and Alice are the bright young twin daughters of the eccentric Mr Talbot, who resides in a huge mansion stuffed full of fossils, inventions, suits of armour, botanical specimens and other specimens of his sprawling collection of curiosities.
When Lilian rebels against Victorian standards of morality she is packed off to India as the bride of a dreary missionary, leaving Alice alone and in danger of falling victim to her father's bizarre and hair-raising schemes.
This lively and entertaining novel follows the two girls on their very different paths to freedom and is set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Indian Mutiny.
Shortlisted for the Saltire First Book prize, the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award and the Guildford Literary Festival First Book Award.
Elaine di Rollo comes from Lancashire and now lives in Scotland. She has a PhD from Edinburgh University in the social history of medicine, and is currently a lecturer at Napier University. A Proper Education for Girls (first published as The Peachgrowers' Almanac), was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book prize, the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award and the Guildford Literary Festival First Book Award. Her second novel is Bleakly Hall.