After all  my angst,  the index to The Water Doctor’s  Daughters was completed without  Rob  filing for  divorce on the grounds that I was too irritable  and unreasonable to live with.  Mind you, neither of us  will  be taking up indexing as a career!  As I have mentioned elsewhere,  Rob now (almost) understands what a proper noun is!   We  have also learned  the meaning of  passim and  are well  aware that spelled backwards it almost  reads ‘mishap’.  Editor Des was anxious to help but since his command of the alphabet  is  extremely dodgy we had to refuse.

Dust Jacket

Front cover for the book

After being  through such a traumatic episode in the journey of the book it was a very emotional experience to see the dust  jacket.

I am absolutely delighted with the design. It is so atmospheric  and perfectly  interprets the story. It has been pointed out that the figure almost looks as though she is wrapped in the constraining wet sheets of the water-cure.  In my mind she represents all five Marsden sisters, but particularly Emily,  who lived the longest  and could be described as   heroic in her own way.

Hints Of Child Abuse

The back cover will feature a portrait of Dr  James Loftus Marsden, the girls’ ghastly father. Above the portrait is a  poignant  quote from  Annie’s Box, by Randal Keynes ;  ‘A child Annie had played with in Malvern had become a tragic and sensational victim of the shortcomings of human nature and affection. Marian Marsden, daughter of James Marsden, the water doctor in Malvern, had been Annie’s age. She was as unlucky with her parents as Annie was lucky with hers.’  Annie was the  daughter of Charles Darwin.  She died in Malvern aged 10.

Randal is the ggg-grandson of Charles Darwin.

My editor is already working on A Taste of the Thames, a far more lighthearted book  the The Water Doctor’s Daughters, even though it contains a good deal of murder and mayhem.  And oh dear, will it  require an index?  Please no!

* Do you think the figure is a cemetery monument?  I must check with the art department at Hale. Feel free to leave a comment below.

  1. I told you that you could do it! Indexes (indices?) are more of a nuisance than a stumbling block, but are nevertheless a good reason to switch from writing non-fic to fic. 😉

  2. Pauline

    Well, it was more like a very high hurdle (the type that requires a pole vaulter to clear it) Peter, but thanks so much as always for your support and encouragement. Fiction? No, I’m afraid not. I’ll be battling with referencing and indices? for the rest of my bloomin’ life. I might have the word ‘passim’ tatooed on my forehead.

  3. I love the cover, Pauline, and am looking forward to reading the book when it comes out. Well done on finishing the index – see, it was easy really, wasn’t it?

    • Thank you so much Elizabeth. No, the wretched index wasn’t easy it was horrible…lol. I woke up one night and remembered I had somehow forgotten to put Charles Dickens in, & he was quite significant. I don’t like to think about it anymore in case another omission comes to mind.

  4. I love this!!

  5. Ooh, I’m so glad you like it Donna. It’s rather eerie isn’t it? Definitely suits the book though!

  6. I love the cover, Pauline. The shadow in the water is a little creepy and atmospheric.

    • Pauline

      Yes, the book is a bit creepy too Jeff, not as in a horror story but certainly in the psychological aspects of the case.

  7. Wow! It’s wonderful. Atmospheric, eerie even. I love her reflection in the water. Or, are we looking at her through water? Awesome. I love it.

  8. I LOVE the cover Pauline 🙂


  9. Wow! A very clever cover design. The art dept did a great job.

    • Pauline

      Thanks Katey, it is creating quite a stir. I love the portrait of Dr Marsden on the back too, and a very special quote. Now I’m just hoping the contents live up to the covers!

  10. The cover is very intriguing.

  11. Pauline

    I spoke to my editor about it last night. She thinks it’s a real person, not a statue. A dear friend of mine said the lady looks friendy so it must be brave Emily, not Mlle Doudet the governess. I’m going with that!

  12. Lovely cover. I assumed the figure was an actual person until I saw your question about a monument – it could be. It does indeed look as though she could be wrapped.

    I took one look at the instructions for indexing and decided no book I publish will ever require an index!.

  13. Pauline

    I was sure the index would be impossible for me Patsy but I didn’t really have much choice. ‘Adobe find’ made it easier but it was the subjective element I found difficult. My editor said to keep it relatively simple which meant deciding what to index and what not to. Be funny if a get a review saying: ‘The book’s not too bad but the index is complete rubbish!

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