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Jess Richards was born in Wales in 1972, and grew up too fast in south west Scotland where she lived with her English parents and three brothers, watching the ferry boats going to and from Northern Ireland. She left home at 17, went over the border to England, and lived for a year in Carlisle, before moving to Devon. She gained a first class degree from Dartington College of Arts when she was 21. After brief stints busking and carrying on in both Leeds and London, she moved to Brighton aged 23 where she has grown up a bit slower, and has lived and worked ever since. Her debut novel, SNAKE ROPES, was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. www.jessrichards.com www.twitter.com/jessgrr1
CITY OF CIRCLES is an entrancing love story between Danu and Morrie, two circus performers, and Danu's Lewis Carroll-esque odyssey through the magical city of Matryoshka, that ends with a heart-warming yet bittersweet twist. Danu is in mourning for her parents after a disease has ravaged the circus she calls home. She begins a high-wire act with Morrie, a charismatic hunchback who wants to marry her. But her mother has entrusted her with a mysterious locket that will lead her down a path Morrie cannot follow. When the circus visits Danu's birthplace, the magical city of Matryoshka, she goes in search of a stranger who may hold the answer to her past. And when the circus leaves, Danu stays behind. Will she and Morrie ever be reunited, or will something unexpected be waiting for her in the mysterious heart of the city of circles? 'Her exploration of self and grief will resonate with many' Ros Barber, author of The Marlowe Papers
My sister is a formwanderer: she is a mirror of want. Each person she meets sees what they want, when they look at her. And she changes for each pair of eyes. Two sisters, fleeing the city of Paradon, find their way to a village by the sea, where Old Kelp's cottage - and her recipe book - await them. Amber feels this is where she finally belongs, baking honey cakes each night for the villagers to collect in the morning, using a set of bone spoons that allow her to add truth, lust and confusion to her pies and puddings. Her little sister Maya is a formwanderer, engineered to reflect the wants of others. All her life she has been like a twin to Amber, but now Amber has changed her mind, and wants Maya to learn how to be herself. Kip, a child growing up amongst the songs and stories of the village, delivers Amber's ingredients. When an act of terrible violence stirs and sets free the secrets of a generation, only one of these three can reveal the truth ...