The Asking Price

Jessica Sterling, Author, Jessica Stirling, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (279p) ISBN 978-0-312-03792-5
Volume two of Stirling's Glasgow trilogy ( The Good Provider ) is a dazzlingly adept period piece set in the drizzly, cold confines of Victorian Scotland as the 19th century draws to a close. Young Kirsty Nicolson feels the pinch of a mean and loveless life with her common-law husband Craig, a stiff-necked constable, and their son Bobby, who shackles them together. Crowded into a tenement with Craig's carping mother Madge, his raffishly charming brother Gordon and sister Lorna, Kirsty dreams of love in the arms of David Lockhart, a handsome, upper-class minister. It seems hugely unfair that Madge should be the one to move up and out when wooed by Breezy Adair, a sharp businessman who has feathered his nest with a string of shady deals. In Sterling's absorbing and convincing portrayal, this intricately calibrated cast of characters is bound by the dictates of respectability and duty, but driven by more powerful desires. This is top-notch historical fiction, written with intelligence and flair. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 02/01/1990
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