"A sapphic reimagining of Mary Shelley's youth, vividly exploring innocence, young love, gothic mystery and the roots of her literary masterpiece, Frankenstein. Switzerland, 1816. A volcanic eruption in Indonesia envelopes the whole of Europe in ash and cloud. Amid this "year without a summer," eighteen-year-old Mary Shelley and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley arrive at Lake Geneva to visit Lord Byron and his companion John Polidori. Anguished by the recent loss of her child, Mary spends her days in strife. But come nightfall, the friends while away rainy wine-soaked evenings gathered around the fireplace, exchanging stories. One famous evening, Byron issues a challenge to write the best ghost story. Contemplating what to write, Mary recalls another summer, when she was fourteen... Scotland, 1812. A guest of the Baxter family, Mary arrives in Dundee, befriending young Isabella Baxter. The girls soon spend hours together wandering through fields and forests, concocting tales about mythical Scottish creatures, ghosts and monsters roaming the lowlands. As their bond deepens, Mary and Isabella's feelings for each other intensify. But someone has been watching them-the charismatic and vaguely sinister Mr. Booth, Isabella's older brother-in-law, who may not be as benevolent as he purports to be... With gripping mastery and verve, Anne Eekhout brings to life a defining moment in Mary Shelley's youth: the creative wellspring for one of the most original, thrilling, and timeless pieces of literature ever written. Provocative, wonderfully atmospheric and pulsing with emotion, Mary and the Birth of Frankenstein is a hypnotic ode to the power of imagination"-- Provided by publisher.