In fin-de-siecle Copenhagen, part-time prostitute Charlotte and her lumpen sidekick, Fru Schleswig, have taken on jobs as cleaning ladies of dubious talent to tide them over the harsh winter of 1897. But the home of their neurotic new employer, the widow Krak, soon reveals itself to be riddled with dark secrets - including the existence of a demonic machine rumoured to swallow people alive. Rudely catapulted into twenty-first-century London, the hapless duo discover a whole new world of glass, labour-saving devices and hectic, impossible romance.
Liz Jensen is the author of Egg Dancing (longlisted for the Orange Prize), Ark Baby (shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize and longlisted for the Orange Prize), The Paper Eater, War Crimes for the Home (longlisted for the Orange Prize), and The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, currently in development as a major motion picture by Anthony Minghella. She divides her time between Copenhagen and London.