In an age defined by men, it will take something extraordinary to show four women who they truly are…
October 1840. A young woman staggers alone through a forest in Shropshire as a huge pair of impossible wings rip themselves from her shoulders. Meanwhile, when rumours of a ‘fallen angel’ cause a frenzy across London, a surgeon desperate for fame and fortune finds himself in the grip of a dangerous obsession, one that will place the women he seeks in the most terrible danger…
The Gifts is the astonishing debut adult novel from the lauded author of Bearmouth. A gripping and ambitious book told through five different perspectives and set against the luminous backdrop of nineteenth century London, it explores science, nature and religion, enlightenment, the role of women in society and the dark danger of ambition.
‘Haunting, thrilling, wonderful. I loved it.’ – Stacey Halls
‘Fierce and touching… a beautiful, riveting novel suffused with luminous magic against the grimy backdrop of 19th century London. Wild female power clashes with dark scientific ambition in this compelling story.’ – Jennifer Saint
‘An extraordinary weaving together of the lives of four women. One is an artist who loves the names of colours, another a botanist who loves the shapes of plants. One of its fascinations is the blend of myth and magic, city and country, urban and wild. There are threads that spin a yarn and make this book a page turning success. For any who loved The Essex Serpent, this is one that will sing to your soul. For myself, I found it to be a dream of a book, one that I could lose myself in and escape from these curious times we live in. There’s a darkness to it also, but also a fierce light, passion. It is utterly absorbing.’ – Jackie Morris