Author(s): Francesca Kay
Winner of the 2009 Orange Prize for New Writers. Jennet Mallow is born in Yorkshire in the 1920s but her interest in art and creativity alienates her from her family, her father who is a priest, her conventional sister and her emotionally stunted mother.
Jennet moves to London in search of a more exciting life and finds it in her new environment and in the handsome and enigmatic figure of the painter David Heaton. When Jennet falls pregnant, her parents more or less force the two to marry.
In the postwar austerity of the 1940s, the young couple struggles to make ends meet and Jennet finds that her home life is gradually eroding everything she has fought to achieve. Aware that David is becoming increasingly reliant on drink and tired of the dank and drab bedsit in which they live, Jennet suggests they move to Spain.
There, the bright blue skies, warm air and sunlit beaches give the couple and their children a new lease of life. Jennet begins to paint again and an agent takes an interest in her work. But as Jennet's own career begins to take off, her relationship with David sours and the two enter a destructive spiral with tragic consequences. First published 2009.
Will appeal to fans of beautifully lyrical writing - those who read Andrew Miller, Viram Seth, Siri Hustvedt (What I loved), Kiran Desai. This is an extremely accomplished debut with prize-winning potential. British-based author (Oxford) Set in the earlier half of the 20th century, it charts the birth of 'Brit art' in the 50s and 60s that laid the foundations for today It is also an incredibly poignant love story about how love can survive jealousy, infidelity, and alcoholism
Shortlisted for Orange Award for New Writers 2009.
Francesca Kay grew up in South-east Asia and India and has subsequently lived in Jamaica, the United States, Germany and Ireland. She now lives in Oxford with her family and works in British-Irish relations.