Publication 4 July 2021
I’ll be back soon, my love.
Tonight, I hope.
The last Eve saw of her mother was a wave from the basket of a rising balloon one ill-fated afternoon in 1802. Growing up a wilful, clever orphan in the house
of her erratic artist guardian, Joseph,
she comes to suspect he knows more than he’s telling. Eve struggles to retain the image of her missing mother and the father she never knew while traversing a London beset by pageantry, incipient riots and the fear of Napoleonic invasion, with no one to guide her through its perils.
Far away, in a Norfolk fishing village, the Rev. Snead preaches hellfire and damnation to his impoverished parishioners and oppressed wife. Snead’s morality is ostensibly irreproachable; he even plays host to a beautiful, mute woman pulled from the sea and likes to illustrate his sermons with her good example. For, as her protector, he keeps a very close watch indeed.
‘A compelling story about loss of identity, the impact of trauma, and the way back from it … that rare kind of historical fiction that both captures the period well and creates an absorbing narrative’
CHARLES PALLISER, author of Rustication
‘Her prose has the force and freshness of a blast of sea air … a vivid portrait of loss and love, teeming with detail at the same time as it moves the reader profoundly’
RACHEL HALLIBURTON, author of The Optickal Illusion