Confinement by Katherine McMahon Profile HK$114 Katherine McMahon hit the big time with The Rose of Sebastopol, an enjoyably serious story of a woman's journey from Victorian London to the Crimean war that earned a place on Richard and Judy's Book Club. First published in 1998, Confinement hitches a ride on Sebastopol's bandwagon and is now rolling into a bookshop near you. Fans of McMahon's breakthrough will doubtless enjoy this early effort. Again, we follow a heroine battling against adversity - although in Confinement it is heroines, plural. The first part begins in 1967: Sarah Beckett is going to Priors Heath, an elite school for girls full of much wilder and posher types than Sarah. Almost a century earlier another young woman, Bess Hardemon, also attends Priors Heath. She isn't a student, however, but a teacher and Priors Heath isn't elite but grim and foreboding. As the plot progresses, the two heroines grow closer. Sarah also begins to teach and encounters modern-day versions of the problems that so beset Bess. McMahon writes admirably. Her characters are attractive and credible and her story never less than absorbing.