‘Birdcage Walk’ by Helen Dunmore

This period drama has a dark, gothic uneasiness to it, but the tightly drawn characters, descriptive backdrop and Dunmore’s powerful prose keep you reading. Lizzie Fawkes has been raised by a feisty mother, Julia an early advocate of women’s rights and her stepfather Augustus who writes rousing political pamphlets. Lizzie has chosen to marry a sober, stoic gentleman, John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who has invested heavily in the construction of a terrace in Bristol and the entire household has moved to the Avon gorge to maintain their supportive, close-knit relationship. As the French Revolution rolls across the Channel, the house full of radicals await news from afar and the disruption echoes through their homes. Secrets and suspicions keep you interested in the story but it’s the characters that provide the entertainment and emotional pull. Published by Cornerstone, ISBN number 9780099592761.

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