Books: Miserable Life MARY REILLY by Valerie Martin

Doubleday; 263 pages; $18.95


by Valerie Martin

Doubleday; 263 pages; $18.95

After a grim childhood and some harsh early jobs, a young servant named Mary Reilly finds employment in a comfortable London house. Mary's literacy -- unusual among 19th century domestics -- enables her to keep a diary. In it she jots down the details of her work and notes the kind attentions of her master, a gentle, reclusive physician who spends a lot of time in his laboratory. Her narrative is well under way before she happens to drop his name, which is, of course, Dr. Jekyll.

Valerie Martin's grafting of a...

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