newgen books for YA readers
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Fred and Edie by Jill Dawson

Fred and Edie

Literary Fiction   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Share this book

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

In 1922 Edith Waters and Freddy Bywaters were found guilty of murdering Edith’s husband and were executed. This is the story from Edith’s point of view, told largely through her letters to Freddy. In my mind it is not Jill’s best book and one feels little sympathy for the characters, but strangely, despite knowing the end, one still reads it willing the couple to be allowed to enjoy their love.

Comparison: Susan Fletcher, Deborah Moggach, Lionel Shriver.

If you like Jill Dawson you might also like to read books by Louise Welsh, Martin Davies and Hannah Beckerman.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Fred and Edie by Jill Dawson

In December 1922 Edith Thompson, a smart, bright, lower-middle class woman who worked in a milliner`s shop, was tried for conspiring with her young lover Frederick Bywaters to murder her husband, Percy. The sensational trial, which took place in front of heaving crowds at the Old Bailey, unravelled a real life drama as exciting as any blockbuster: an illicit love affair, a back-street abortion, domestic violence, murder and a double execution. FRED AND EDIE draws together powerful threads between personal memory and public lives, between innocence and responsibility, and between fact and fiction. It is an exploration of a woman caught in the net of her own private fantasy and the conflicts of the era in which she lived, of her muddled attempt to defy convention and reshape her own destiny, and, finally, of the devastation she left in her wake.


'A triumphantly good novel' - Lynne Truss, Sunday Times

'Gripping...Dawson has got brilliantly under the skin of her main character.' - Val Hennessy, Daily Mail

About the Author

Jill Dawson

Jill Dawson is the author of TRICK OF THE LIGHT, MAGPIE, FRED AND EDIE, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Orange Prize, and WILD BOY, all published by Sceptre to critical acclaim. WATCH ME DISAPPEAR, her latest novel, will be published by Sceptre in March 2006. She is also an award-winning poet and has edited several anthologies including The Virago Book of Wicked Verse, and, with Margo Daly, Wild Ways. She was the British Council Fellow at Amherst College, Massachusetts, in 1997 and is currently the Royal Literary Fund Fellow in Writing at the University of East Anglia. Born in Durham, she now lives with her family in the Fens.

Photograph © Luke White

Fellow novelist Katharine McMahon on Jill Dawson...

The Great Lover is a novel about a poet, Rupert Brooke, that pushes past the cliches of tea on the lawn at Grantchester and takes an utterly fresh look at the poet. The writing is very clear and precise and makes for a fascinating read. And what's more, I was inspired to go and read Brooke's poetry too.

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

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

Book Info

Publication date

28th December 2006


Jill Dawson

More books by Jill Dawson
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website
Loading twitter updates...


Hodder & Stoughton General Division




Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites



I recommend Lovereading because you get honest reviews on a whole range of genres-there's something for everyone. It's the only site I need.

Sian Spinney

Lovereading helps me decide what real people read.

Kerry Bridges

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

Love books. Love reading. Love reading books. And, here's the trick. Here's a website which caters for people like me.

Ian Harvey-brown

What can I say, the clue is in the title Lovereading - and awesome books.

Sarah Davis

I love reading books I wouldn't normally choose before everyone else gets to read them!

Dawn Lynch

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.


Books of the month/debuts of the month, kids/adults, fiction/non-fiction, free prize draws and free extracts, what's not to love?

Emma Smith