£5.99 – £8.99
In 1875, Simone Gastrell is conveniently committed to Long Meadows Asylum by her adulterous husband. Distraught but not defeated, she meets the silent women whose lives within the institution are ordered and defined by men. Alice Semple, a herbalist and wise- woman, does not speak, but gives testimony in her notebook. Phoebe Baines, a fragile, damaged young woman, lives within the soundless universe of her interior monologue. In a powerless world, relieved only by precious hours spent in the Airing Courts and gardens, the three women come together in unvoiced friendship. When life behind the asylum walls grows even more dangerous and brutal, they find their voices and use them to fight for survival.
In their story, readers will hear echoes of women today locked away in our institutions, often brutalised, still silenced and living invisible lives.
Publication: 27th July 2023 (available to pre-order from 27th June)
‘Totally immersive, exquisitely constructed and utterly heart-rending.’
– Ali Bacon, author of A Kettle of Fish and In the Blink of an Eye.
‘Tender and enthralling…a moving and powerful indictment of the
nineteenth century asylum system.’
– Gillian Wales
‘A wonderful novel… rooted in time and place…a skillful portrayal of the human condition and a triumph of storytelling!’
– Novelist, Anna Barker