The Company, J M Varese

The Company, J M Varese

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London, 1870. Lucy Braithwhite lives a privileged existence as heir to the fortune of Braithwhite & Company - the most successful purveyor of English luxury wallpapers the world over.

The company's formulas have been respected for nearly a century, but have always remained cloaked in mystery. No one has been able to explain the originality of design, or the brilliance of their colours, leaving many to wonder if the mysterious spell-like effect of their wallpapers is due simply to artistry, or something more sinister. When Mr Luckhurst, the company's manager, and the man who has acted as surrogate father to Lucy and her invalid brother John since they were children, suddenly dies, Lucy is shocked to discover that there is no succession plan in place.

Who will ensure that the company and her family continue to thrive? The answer soon arrives in the form of the young and alluring Julian Rivers, who, unbeknownst to Lucy and John, has been essential to the company's operations for some time. At first, he seems like the answer to their prayers, but as Lucy begins piecing together Julian's true intentions, and John begins seeing spectral visions in the house's wallpaper, it becomes clear to Lucy that she must do everything within her power to oppose the diabolic forces that have risen up to destroy her family. Set against the backdrop of the real-life arsenic wallpaper controversy of the late 19th century, The Company is a dark and haunting slice of gothic Victoriana, following one woman's fight to preserve all that she holds dear.