Fannie

Montreuil-sur-Mer, 1815. Life is hard for Fannie, working at the factory with only sweet memories of her 'gentleman' and daughter to sustain her. But when she is revealed as an unmarried mother and dismissed, she is forced to take greater and greater risks to earn money for her child. What can she sell? Who can she trust? Has she any escape? A story of desperation, but also of love and the soaring power of hope.
 

In this beautifully written novella, Rebecca F. John gives us Fannie’s story from a new perspective – Fannie’s own. The past is beautifully evoked by John’s writing, sometimes with disturbing, visceral intensity. This is a lyrical, heartbreaking retelling.

Elodie Harper, author of The Wolf Den

Phenomenal. Rebecca F. John is one of the best writers around. Exquisite writing, utterly immersive, gripping and heartfelt, I loved every moment within its pages. An extraordinary book by an extraordinary talent.

Liz Hyder, author of The Gifts.

In this gorgeously written novella, our much-loved Fantine is gifted a voice, and the delicious opportunity to rewrite her story. Powerfully evoked, unflinchingly raw and yet ultimately hopeful, Fannie is a wonderful retelling.

Joanne Burn, author of The Hemlock Cure.

I INHALED this gorgeous proof of Fannie by Rebecca F. John, who brings Les Mis’s Fantine vividly to life with silky-smooth prose and a brilliantly reimagined destiny that leaves your heart full. Utterly memorising.

Amanda Geard, author of The Midnight House.
 

 

 

A feminist reimagining of the story of Fantine, from Les Miserables

 

 

The Empty Greatcoat

 

When Francis House enlists in the British Army in 1907, at the tender age of fifteen years and three months, he is not thinking about war.

He imagines he simply wants to earn his stripes - to ease his traumatised father's Boer War memories, or perhaps to please his favourite sister, Lily, with whom he has always dreamt of adventure. But he soon discovers that simply becoming a soldier is not enought and, against the advice of his sergeant, he detemines to seek out a real fight.

Wading ashore at Gallipoli seven years later, Francis thinks he might just have found the site of his greatest opportunity. He is frightened. But he is also brimming with anticipation. Here, he thinks, he might finally prove himself a man.

First, though, he must find his missing friend Berto. He needs to say sorry. He cannot yet imagine the ghosts that might stand in his way.

Based on the journal of Francis Albert House, the author's great great uncle.

 

 

The Haunting of Henry Twist

'Phenomenal. An utterly extraordinary, visceral and powerful book. Effortlessly weaves ideas around storytelling and the power of imagination into a heart-felt, heart-breaking tale of loss, love, friendship and the devastating effects of war. One of the most exquisite, raw and outstanding books I have ever read.'
Liz Hyder, author of Bearmouth and The Gifts


‘This is a remarkable book.  Rebecca F. John recreates the entirely convincing experience of a British soldier in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign. She evokes both the time and the place wonderfully in a narrative voice infused with Welsh sensitivity to language.  And we are constantly aware of the sea whose marvellously observed presence is there from the beginning of the book to its end.’
Alix Nathan, author of The Warlow Experiment and Sea Change

 

 

 

 

London, 1926: Henry Twist's heavily pregnant wife leaves home to meet a friend. On the way, she is hit by a bus and killed, though miraculously the baby survives. Henry is left with nothing but his new daughter - a single father in a world without single fathers. He hurries the baby home, terrified that she'll be taken from him. Racked with guilt and fear, he stays away from prying eyes, walking her through the streets at night, under cover of darkness.

 

But one evening, a strange man steps out of the shadows and addresses Henry by name. The man says that he has lost his memory, but that his name is Jack. Henry is both afraid of and drawn to Jack, and the more time they spend together, the more Henry sees that this man has echoes of his dead wife. His mannerisms, some things he says ... And so Henry wonders, has his wife returned to him? Has he conjured Jack himself from thin air? Or is he in the grip of a sophisticated con man? Who really sent him?

 

Set in a London recovering from the First World War, The Haunting of Henry Twist is a novel about the limits and potential of love and of grief. It is about the lengths we will go to hold on to what is precious to us, what we will forgive of those we love, and what we will sacrifice for the sake of our own happiness.

 

 

Clown's Shoes

 

In a small Welsh town, a young Korean immigrant tells her fears and her secrets to the sway of the sea.

 

Yearning for fame, magician Victor Dahl dices with death as he attempts the legendary Bullet Catch.

 

In sad, wet London, a neglected girl prostitutes herself to feed her family whilst her mother mourns her childhood stardom and drinks herself ill.

 

At the dog track, hidden amongst the rowdy punters, an unusual woman reflects on life and death and makes a big decision.

 

Whilst onstage, somewhere ago, a desperate mother performs a nightly striptease.

 

These are the people who populate Clown’s Shoes.  They are lonely, they are frightened, and most of all they are full of hope.