Cover image for The wise child
The wise child
Stirling, Jessica.
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Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1990.
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Author Notes

Hugh C. Rae was born on November 22, 1935 in Glasgow, Scotland. After graduating from secondary school, he worked as an assistant in the antiquarian department of John Smith's bookshop. His first novel, Skinner, was published in 1963. He wrote several novels using his name including Night Pillow, A Few Small Bones, The Interview, The Shooting Gallery, The Marksman, and Harkfast: The Making of a King. He also wrote as Robert Crawford, R. B. Houston, James Albany, and Stuart Stern.

Using the pseudonym Jessica Stirling, he wrote more than 30 historical romances. He wrote the first few novels with Peggie Coghlan. However, when she retired 7 years after the first book was published, he wrote the remainder on his own. The books written under this pseudonym include The Spoiled Earth, The Constant Star, Hearts of Gold, and Whatever Happened to Molly Bloom. He died on September 24, 2014 at the age of 78.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In Stirling's third novel involving Kirsty Barnes and her common-law husband, Craig Nicholson, the author quickly fills in the vital facts from the earlier stories before playing out a series of beguiling melodramas. Craig nearly loses his rank as a Glasgow policeman; Kirsty nearly loses her husband, first to another woman, then to a manic criminal. Meanwhile, Craig's brother becomes deeply involved with a family riddled with dark secrets. The soap-operaesque finish, complete with cliff-hanger, follows a pattern set in the two earlier novels, The Good Provider [BKL F 15 89] and The Asking Price [BKL F 15 90]. Initially proposed as a trilogy, the Nicholsons' adventures in turn-of-the-century Scotland show no signs of stopping here. Stirling's fans will not regret that news. --Denise Perry Donavin

Publisher's Weekly Review

Despite the success of the first two installments of Stirling's Glasgow saga ( The Good Provider ; The Asking Price ), the third volume is heavy and uneven. Kirsty Nicholson has chosen to remain in a common-law marriage with policeman Craig Nicholson, ostensibly for the sake of their young son, Bobby. Craig is indifferent to wife and son, and Kirsty eventually learns of his affair with Greta Taylor, who has a small daughter. Setting up a shop with the help of her brother-in-law, Kirsty strives for independence and also finds an opportunity to revenge herself on Craig by hiring Greta. While the women find a common ground in their desire for security, Craig's many relatives pursue their various--mainly selfish--ends. Almost no one in this epic has any feeling for anyone else, and it is difficult to find a locus of sympathy when the point of view shifts erratically. The narrative concludes in a manner that assumes a sequel, without adequately resolving several story threads. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved