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The islands lay low an dark in the sea that had claimed the lives of Adela Traherne's parents. Known to the islanders as the Island Child, her life became inextricably linked with Augustus Walmer, the Proprietor, in the summer of 1840 when a group of his friends came to see how he was restoring the economy and well-being of his people and the untamed beauty of the islands he owned. None of the people who came together in that summer was ever to forget what happened then, none of them was ever to break free from the islands grip, and the destinies of Adela and Augustus seemed fated to be forever linked.'Ambitious, imaginative . . . The Proprietor more than a little resembles The French Lieutenant's Woman, with a dash of Jamaica Inn and an occasional nod in the direction of The Waves.' Anita Brookner, Harpers & Queen'Outstanding success . . . elegant precision and feeling for period . . . attractive echoes of Charlotte Bronte and Elizabeth Bowen.' Hermione Lee, Observer'Rare and strange . . . rich in detail and steeped in the author's sense of the period and place about which she writes, it establishes Ann Schlee as one of the best novelists we have.' Susan Hill'Rare and impressive . . . the kind of novel which makes the prospect of a second reading a pleasure to be savoured.' Books and Bookmen