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The Somnambulist by Essie Fox
  

The Somnambulist

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One of our Great Reads You May Have Missed in 2012.

Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 'New Writer of the Year' 2012.

Featured on The TV Book Club on More4 on 12 February 2012.

This debut novelist's coming of age story uses evocative language to transport you to late 19th century Victorian England where lost love, grief, dark secrets and hidden passions take hold of the life of seventeen year old Phoebe Turner. It's well researched and a good page turner.

If you like Essie Fox you might also like to read books by Tracy Chevalier, Wilkie Collins and Susanna Clarke.

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Synopsis

The Somnambulist by Essie Fox

'Some secrets are better left buried...' Phoebe Turner visits Wilton's Music Hall to watch her Aunt Cissy performing on stage, she risks the wrath of her mother Maud who marches with the Hallelujah Army, campaigning for all London theatres to close.

While there, Phoebe is drawn to a stranger, the enigmatic Nathaniel Samuels, who heralds dramatic changes in the lives of all three women. When offered the position of companion to Nathaniel's reclusive wife, Phoebe leaves her life in London's East End for Dinwood Court in Herefordshire - a house that may well be haunted and which holds the darkest of truths...

Reviews

This is a gutsy page-turning novel with a delightful heroine... larger than life Dickensian characters and generous supply of plot twists and turns. But it is no pastiche. It is an affectionate and knowledgeable homage to the genre and a thumping good read * HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW * A tale of complicated thespian lives, old secrets and many a twist and turn...an absorbing read, well worth recommending * BOOKSELLER * I am currently reading THE SOMNAMBULIST, a novel which I am enjoying so much that I was up at six this morning to relish it in the peace of my still sleeping household. It has taken me to new worlds, is riven with suspense, has made my imagination wander, and my fingers itch to turn the last page * Jojo Moyes * Essie Fox transports us to the Victorian squalor of London's East End for a tale of illegitimacy, incest and theatricality with so many twists that you'll want to read it in one sitting * COSMOPOLITAN * Finishing THE SOMNAMBULIST feels like coming back (somewhat regretfully) from time-travelling to Victoria's England. Essie Fox's descriptions of places are just wonderful. This writer has the neat knack of recapturing the mystical eccentricity of Victorian time and place without caricaturing it. I was totally drawn in. I look forward to the next book from this writer * Michelle Lovric * Paints a vivid picture of Victorian times * STAR MAGAZINE * Vividly compelling, dark and dazzling * Katherine Webb *


About the Author

Essie Fox

Before taking up writing Essie Fox worked as an illustrator – designing greetings cards and wrap, and decorative ceramics. She is the creator of The Virtual Victorian www.virtualvictorian.blogspot.com a wonderful guide through the Victorian world. Her debut novel The Somnambulist was selected as a Channel 4 Book Club choice in January 2012 and was shortlisted in the New Writer of the Year category of the 2012 NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS. Essie Fox divides her time between Windsor and Bow in the East End of London.

Click here to read a Q&A with Essie Fox about Elijah's Mermaid.

Author photo © Graham Keuteniu

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Book Info

Publication date

5th January 2012

Author

Essie Fox

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Author's Website

www.essiefox.com/

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Publisher

Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Paperback
400 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Historical Fiction
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781409121190

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