Win a Family Weekend Break with Lovereading and VisitWiltshire - click here for details...

twitter
Search our site
Once A Pilgrim by James Deegan Read the opening extract of the brand new James Deegan book before its publication on 25/01/2018

The Words in My Hand by Guinevere Glasfurd
  

The Words in My Hand

Literary Fiction   Debuts of the Month   Historical Fiction   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2016.

January 2016 Debut of the Month.

A gloriously readable and emotional fictional tale based on the relationship between Dutch maid Helena Jans van der Strom and philosopher, mathematician and scientist Rene Descartes, in 17th century Amsterdam. Helena tells her own story, and we have intimate access to her thoughts and feelings as she learns the magic of words, writing and thinking beyond the obvious. It feels as though Guinevere Glasfurd has seen into the heart and soul of Helena, as though this really could be her story. The author also has the gift of shaping the outside world, of painting a vivid picture of life in these times. Sending thoughts skittering down unexpected paths and opening up the world of Descartes, ‘The Words In My Hand’ is a truly lovely and captivating debut. ~ Liz Robinson

Costa judges comment: “Glasfurd brings the 17th century Netherlands to vivid life in this sensitive, compelling tale of love and loss.”

Win a year of Muriel Spark...!

Win a year of Muriel Spark...Marking her centenary, you could win all 22 novels in collectable, hardback editions published by Polygon, each complete with an Introduction from a leading writer PLUS a copy of the warm and humorous memoir of Alan Taylor’s friendship with Spark. These novels are published with the support of Creative Scotland and The Muriel Spark Society.

The winner will receive the copies as they are published during 2018. The initial package is likely to include: The Comforters, The Ballad of Peckham Rye, Memento Mori, Robinson, A Far Cry From Kensington, The Bachelors, The Girls of Slender Means, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and the memoir by Alan taylor Appointment in Arezzo.

The value of competition is over £220.00!

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 28 January 2018. The winner will be announced on the centenary of her birth, 1 February 2018.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 28/01/2018

Synopsis

The Words in My Hand by Guinevere Glasfurd

'17th-century Amsterdam sparkles into life in this delightful, playful and beautifully written debut. I loved it!' Rachel Hore, bestselling author of A Week In Paris 'Guinevere Glasfurd's writing is fresh and elegant. I loved the subject and the way she brings Amsterdam in the 1600s into vivid, believable life. A lovely book' Dinah Jefferies, bestselling author of The Tea Planter's Wife The Words in My Hand is the reimagined true story of Helena Jans, a Dutch maid in 17th-century Amsterdam, who works for Mr Sergeant the English bookseller. When a mysterious and reclusive lodger arrives - the Monsieur - Mr Sergeant insists everything must be just so. It transpires that the Monsieur is Rene Descartes. This is Helena's story: the woman in front of Descartes, a young woman who yearns for knowledge, who wants to write so badly she makes ink from beetroot and writes in secret on her skin - only to be held back by her position in society. Weaving together the story of Descartes' quest for reason with Helena's struggle for literacy, their worlds overlap as their feelings deepen; yet remain sharply divided. For all Descartes' learning, it is Helena he seeks out as she reveals the surprise in the everyday world that surrounds him. When reputation is everything and with so much to lose, some truths must remain hidden. Helena and Descartes face a terrible tragedy and ultimately have to decide if their love is possible at all.

Reviews

'17th-century Amsterdam sparkles into life in this delightful, playful and beautifully written debut. I loved it!' Rachel Hore, bestselling author of A WEEK IN PARIS

'Guinevere Glasfurd's writing is fresh and elegant. I loved the subject and the way she brings Amsterdam in the 1600s into vivid, believable life. A lovely book.' Dinah Jefferies, bestselling author of THE TEA PLANTER'S WIFE

About the Author

Guinevere Glasfurd

Guinevere Glasfurd's short fiction has appeared in Mslexia, the Scotsman and in a collection from The National Galleries of Scotland. The Words In My Hand, her first novel, was written with the support of a grant from Arts Council England. She manages the Words and Women Twitter feed, a voluntary organisation representing women writers in the East of England and can be found online at guinevereglasfurd.com and @guingb.

Author photo © Stefano Masse

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

14th January 2016

Author

Guinevere Glasfurd

More books by Guinevere Glasfurd
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

guinevereglasfurd.com/
Loading twitter updates...

Publisher

Two Roads an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division

Format

Hardback

Categories

Literary Fiction
Debuts of the Month
Historical Fiction


ISBN

9781473617858

Lovereading is a world of books. It has everything you need from new to old and much loved classic books. It even give you recommendations!

Kate Thurston

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane

Lovereading is pitched at just the right level for all the various types of people who enjoy reading in its many forms.

Pam Woodburn

As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

I love Lovereading because I get to read great books and then get to tell everybody how good they are.

Sally Doel

Lovereading is a wonderful way to expand my literary horizons, discover inspiring authors & get the chance to read new novels first. #loveit

Zarina de Ruiter

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools