by Zadie Smith
Reviewed by Janet:Set in literati circles in 1873 England (with visits to the past for context), Eliza Touchet is housekeeper to once-famous author and cousin-by-marriage William Ainsworth. As he navigates his fading career, a second marriage, and the family's declining circumstances, Eliza does her best to keep the household together. Add to the mix the national fascination with the Tichborne Trial, where a butcher from Australia claims to be the long-lost heir to a title and fortune, a story supported by a family servant from Jamaica. Eliza - and the reader - are confronted with questions of authenticity, identity, truth, and deciding who is actually the fraud.