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Lydia Syson - Author

About the Author

Lydia Syson is a fifth-generation North Londoner who now lives south of the river. She is working through her ambitions in a disorderly fashion. The publication of her first novel, A WORLD BETWEEN US, has taken a good few decades. During this time she went from being a BBC World Service radio listener in Botswana to a producer in London, and then became a non-medical doctor and mother of four.


She also wrote a biography of Britain's first fertility guru, DOCTOR OF LOVE: JAMES GRAHAM AND HIS CELESTIAL BED, learning a lot about enlightenment sex in the process.

 

Getting to Timbuktu is still on the 'to do' list - it's the subject of her PhD thesis - but it will have to be via Romney Marsh, where her next YA novel for Hot Key Books will be set. Bilingualism and Hollywood musical stardom are looking increasingly unlikely.

Featured books by Lydia Syson

Other books by Lydia Syson

Mr Peacock's Possessions THE TIMES Book of the Month

Mr Peacock's Possessions THE TIMES Book of the Month

Author: Lydia Syson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/03/2019

Oceania 1879. A family of settlers from New Zealand are the sole inhabitants of a remote volcanic island. For two years they have struggled with the harsh reality of trying to make this unforgiving place a paradise they can call their own. At last, a ship appears. The six Pacific Islanders on board have travelled eight hundred miles across the ocean in search of work and new horizons. Hopes are high for all, until a vulnerable boy vanishes. In their search for the lost child, settlers and newcomers together uncover far more than they were looking for. The island's secrets force them all to question their deepest convictions.

Mr Peacock's Possessions THE TIMES Book of the Month

Mr Peacock's Possessions THE TIMES Book of the Month

Author: Lydia Syson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/05/2018

'An intelligent, beautifully written story about a dysfunctional family in a sinister paradise' The Times Oceania 1879. A family of settlers from New Zealand are the sole inhabitants of a remote volcanic island. For two years they have struggled with the harsh reality of trying to make this unforgiving place a paradise they can call their own. At last, a ship appears. The six Pacific Islanders on board have travelled eight hundred miles across the ocean in search of work and new horizons. Hopes are high for all, until a vulnerable boy vanishes. In their search for the lost child, settlers and newcomers together uncover far more than they were looking for. The island's secrets force them all to question their deepest convictions. Praise for Mr Peacock's Possessions: 'Syson's novel, a modern take on the literary genre known (after Robinson Crusoe) as the robinsonade, is a haunting exploration of Lizzie's disillusion with her father's dreams and their damaging consequences' The Sunday Times 'Syson's novel is richly evocative of a Pacific world in flux, as cultures clash and individuals battle to find their place amid the ensuing confusion . . . a very moving story of fathers and children, of faith and disillusion, and of the dangerous consequences of trying to take possession of people as well as land' BBC History Magazine 'Lushly written, with immaculate historical detail, it worked for me on many levels' Women and Home 'As compelling, mysterious and haunting as the troubled tropical paradise it portrays . . . Syson doesn't just write about the past, she transports us there. A tour de force' Piers Torday 'A wonderful book full of drama, courage and aspirations. The language is rich and the characters so humanely drawn' Carol Drinkwater 'A thrilling story of love and courage, brutality and hope all told with equal measures of deep humanity, imagination and elan. Lydia Syson has an amazing gift of bringing history alive through richness of language, dramatic pace and fabulous visual imagery. This is better than watching a film!' Anne Sebba 'With its chorus of vivid voices, Lydia Syson's novel reminds us why we consumed The Poisonwood Bible and The Underground Railway so avidly' Michelle Lovric 'What a powerful, rich and fascinating book. Dark historical events are interwoven with the mystery of a missing child on a remote Pacific island in 1879. Highly compelling' Anna Mazzola 'Swiss Family Robinson meets Lord of the Flies in Lydia Syson's superb and engrossing book. This scintillating story evokes an island paradise which descends into a nightmarish hell as Mr Peacock's Possessions builds towards a shocking revelation and a thrilling climax' Wendy Moore 'A tense, evocative, richly imagined novel' Emma Darwin 'Lydia Syson writes very well about the natural world . . . [and] the dark tensions in family life that overwhelm the Peacocks' Miranda Miller 'Dazzling . . . A vividly realised, compelling novel' Linda Newberry 'Mr Peacock's Possessions - one of those rare novels which keeps you up much later than you'd planned - is everything I love in a book. What starts out as a wonderful adventure slowly reveals itself as something altogether darker. Then you realise you can't put it down until you discover the truth. Swallows and Amazons for grown-ups' Alex Monroe 'That's perhaps the greatest achievement of this novel: it stays with you. I've been haunted by it since I finished reading it. I hope very much that it gets the attention and praise it deserves . . . This novel is pleasurable on so many levels' The History Girls 'Syson's eye for character is immediate - her narrative voice reaching out from the page and grabbing the reader from the off. They're drawn into a small but compelling community, one full of interesting characters and complicated relationships that only becomes more intriguing as the book goes on . . . Syson brings things to a climax that's as rewarding as it is moving - and allows her to examine community, youth and family in a beautifully drawn setting' The Bookbag 'This certainly is one of the most powerful, brilliantly written books' Breakaway Reviews

Mr Peacock's Possessions

Mr Peacock's Possessions

Author: Lydia Syson Format: eBook Release Date: 17/05/2018

'An intelligent, beautifully written story about a dysfunctional family in a sinister paradise' The Times Oceania 1879. A family of settlers from New Zealand are the sole inhabitants of a remote volcanic island.For two years they have struggled with the harsh reality of trying to make this unforgiving place a paradise they can call their own. At last, a ship appears. The six Pacific Islanders on board have travelled eight hundred miles across the ocean in search of work and new horizons. Hopes are high for all, until a vulnerable boy vanishes. In their search for the lost child, settlers and newcomers together uncover far more than they were looking for. The island's secrets force them all to question their deepest convictions.Praise for Mr Peacock's Possessions:'Syson's novel, a modern take on the literary genre known (after Robinson Crusoe) as the robinsonade, is a haunting exploration of Lizzie's disillusion with her father's dreams and their damaging consequences' The Sunday Times 'Syson's novel is richly evocative of a Pacific world in flux, as cultures clash and individuals battle to find their place amid the ensuing confusion . . . a very moving story of fathers and children, of faith and disillusion, and of the dangerous consequences of trying to take possession of people as well as land'BBC History Magazine'Lushly written, with immaculate historical detail, it worked for me on many levels' Women and Home

Mr Peacock's Possessions THE TIMES Book of the Month

Mr Peacock's Possessions THE TIMES Book of the Month

Author: Lydia Syson Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/05/2018

'An intelligent, beautifully written story about a dysfunctional family in a sinister paradise' The Times Oceania 1879. A family of settlers from New Zealand are the sole inhabitants of a remote volcanic island. For two years they have struggled with the harsh reality of trying to make this unforgiving place a paradise they can call their own. At last, a ship appears. The six Pacific Islanders on board have travelled eight hundred miles across the ocean in search of work and new horizons. Hopes are high for all, until a vulnerable boy vanishes. In their search for the lost child, settlers and newcomers together uncover far more than they were looking for. The island's secrets force them all to question their deepest convictions. Praise for Mr Peacock's Possessions: 'Syson's novel, a modern take on the literary genre known (after Robinson Crusoe) as the robinsonade, is a haunting exploration of Lizzie's disillusion with her father's dreams and their damaging consequences' The Sunday Times 'Syson's novel is richly evocative of a Pacific world in flux, as cultures clash and individuals battle to find their place amid the ensuing confusion . . . a very moving story of fathers and children, of faith and disillusion, and of the dangerous consequences of trying to take possession of people as well as land' BBC History Magazine 'Lushly written, with immaculate historical detail, it worked for me on many levels' Women and Home 'As compelling, mysterious and haunting as the troubled tropical paradise it portrays . . . Syson doesn't just write about the past, she transports us there. A tour de force' Piers Torday 'A wonderful book full of drama, courage and aspirations. The language is rich and the characters so humanely drawn' Carol Drinkwater 'A thrilling story of love and courage, brutality and hope all told with equal measures of deep humanity, imagination and elan. Lydia Syson has an amazing gift of bringing history alive through richness of language, dramatic pace and fabulous visual imagery. This is better than watching a film!' Anne Sebba 'With its chorus of vivid voices, Lydia Syson's novel reminds us why we consumed The Poisonwood Bible and The Underground Railway so avidly' Michelle Lovric 'What a powerful, rich and fascinating book. Dark historical events are interwoven with the mystery of a missing child on a remote Pacific island in 1879. Highly compelling' Anna Mazzola 'Swiss Family Robinson meets Lord of the Flies in Lydia Syson's superb and engrossing book. This scintillating story evokes an island paradise which descends into a nightmarish hell as Mr Peacock's Possessions builds towards a shocking revelation and a thrilling climax' Wendy Moore 'A tense, evocative, richly imagined novel' Emma Darwin 'Lydia Syson writes very well about the natural world . . . [and] the dark tensions in family life that overwhelm the Peacocks' Miranda Miller 'Dazzling . . . A vividly realised, compelling novel' Linda Newberry 'Mr Peacock's Possessions - one of those rare novels which keeps you up much later than you'd planned - is everything I love in a book. What starts out as a wonderful adventure slowly reveals itself as something altogether darker. Then you realise you can't put it down until you discover the truth. Swallows and Amazons for grown-ups' Alex Monroe 'That's perhaps the greatest achievement of this novel: it stays with you. I've been haunted by it since I finished reading it. I hope very much that it gets the attention and praise it deserves . . . This novel is pleasurable on so many levels' The History Girls 'Syson's eye for character is immediate - her narrative voice reaching out from the page and grabbing the reader from the off. They're drawn into a small but compelling community, one full of interesting characters and complicated relationships that only becomes more intriguing as the book goes on . . . Syson brings things to a climax that's as rewarding as it is moving - and allows her to examine community, youth and family in a beautifully drawn setting' The Bookbag 'This certainly is one of the most powerful, brilliantly written books' Breakaway Reviews

Liberty's Fire

Liberty's Fire

Author: Lydia Syson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2015

Paris, 1871. Four young people will rewrite their destinies. Paris is in revolt. After months of siege at the hands of the Prussians, a wind of change is blowing through the city, bringing with it murmurs of a new revolution. Alone and poverty-stricken, sixteen-year-old Zephyrine is quickly lured in by the ideals of the city's radical new government, and she finds herself swept away by its promises of freedom, hope, equality and rights for women. But she is about to be seduced for a second time, following a fateful encounter with a young violinist. Anatole's passion for his music is soon swiftly matched only by his passion for this fierce and magnificent girl. He comes to believe in Zephyrine's new politics - but his friends are not so sure. Opera singer Marie and photographer Jules have desires of their own, and the harsh reality of life under the Commune is not quite as enticing for them as it seems to be for Anatole and Zephyrine. And when the violent reality of revolution comes crashing down at their feet, can they face the danger together - or will they be forced to choose where their hearts really lie?

Author Info

Author's Website

http://www.lydiasyson.com

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