Art & Grace
by Catherine E. Chapman
Bristol, England, in the early Nineteenth Century. The slave trade has been abolished but slavery itself has not yet been outlawed.
Bess, a young woman of mixed heritage, has an ambiguous position in the home of the once-eminent Liston family. Raised and educated alongside the family’s children, Richard and Artemisia, she has been increasingly confined to the role of a domestic servant since the death of Joshua Liston, the household’s head.
When Richard Liston instigates an introduction between Captain Adam Bryce, a Royal Naval officer of repute, and his sister, Artemisia, Adam shows greater interest in Bess. Pressed by Artemisia to stalk Adam, Bess’s problems begin. And when the ailing matriarch, Elizabeth Liston, presents Bess with an impossible choice, the weaving of a web of deceit commences that will ultimately push Bess and Artemisia’s friendship to the brink.
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