THE BINDING MEETS FINGERSMITH BY WAY OF THE WIDE SARGASSO SEA . . . AN EXTRAORDINARY HISTORICAL MYSTERY
The library is under lock and key. But its secrets can’t be contained.
1896. After he brought her home from Jamaica as a baby, Florence’s father had her hair hot-combed to make her look like the other girls. But as a young woman, Florence is not so easy to tame – and when she brings scandal to his door, the bookbinder throws her onto the streets of Manchester.
Intercepting her father’s latest commission, Florence talks her way into the remote, forbidding Rose Hall to restore its collection of rare books. Lord Francis Belfield’s library is old and full of secrets – but none so intriguing as the whispers about his late wife.
Then one night, the library is broken into. Strangely, all the priceless tomes remain untouched. Florence is puzzled, until she discovers a half-burned book in the fireplace. She realises with horror that someone has found and set fire to the secret diary of Lord Belfield’s wife – which may hold the clue to her fate . . .
‘A tantalising read that swells with secrecy and intrigue. It’s hard to believe that Kuchenga Shenjé writes of the past, and not of the present. A beautifully and skilfully written debut’
CANDICE CARTY-WILLIAMS, author of Queenie